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United States 

Christian Commission 


Home Secretary to the Commission 





Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1S6S, by 

Secretary of the Trustees of the U. S. Christian Commission, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Eastern 
District of Pennsylvania. 

Lippincott's Press, 


Young Men's Christian Associations 








By the direction of the Executive Committee of the 

I'ni ted States Christian Commission* approved at the 

final meeting of the Commission at large, and under the 

management of the residuary Trustees of the Commission, 

appointed January n, 1866, all the profits which accrue 

from the sale of this volume arc to be applied "to the 

spiritual and temporal benefit of those who are, have been, 

or /nay be, soldiers or sailors in the service of the United 

Stalcs. n ' 

1 See page 229. 


This volume has been prepared in accordance with the request 
of the Executive Committee of the United States Christian Com- 
mission, and under the superintendence of a special Committee 
appointed for that purpose. 1 

I have given the name of Axxai.s to the book, because it is 
simply an endeavor to narrate the events which occurred in the 
course of the Christian Commission's operations. No attempt is 
made to discuss the causes or consequences of this unique religious 
movement. No attempt is made to criticise the principles by 
which the Commission was guided, nor the conduct of those who 
were brought into direct or indirect connection with it. Even in 
the few cases where it may seem that censure is implied, there is 
no intended reference to motives. Without any concealment of 
mv own sympathies, it has yet been my aim to be as nearly 
impersonal as possible, that thus the story might " tell itself." I 
have therefore freely used contemporaneous documents of all 
kinds, believing that, whatever their deficiencies may be, they 
are far more valuable, as expressions of the spirit and circum- 
stances of the times, — and these are the principal things to be 
preserved in such a volume, — than any generalized statements of 
my own. 

The book might easily have been made much larger. It has 
i See pp. 227, 229. 


not always been easy, with the abundant materials at hand, to 
select and compress. It will be seen that my method has been, 
hi some important instances, to choose certain topics for detailed 
statement and illustration, and to pass over other kindred points, — 
equally worthy in themselves, perhaps, of similar treatment, — 
with the briefest allusions. A full narration of everything was 
impossible, within reasonable limits, and such a representative 
] in 'Mutation seemed preferable to one that should aim at greater 
symmetry and end by failing to give a distinct impression of any 
part. That there have been no errors of judgment in the selection 
and treatment of topics is more than I dare hope. I can only 
claim an intention of giving a fair and clear exhibition of the 
whole subject, in such a manner as should secure to the book the 
greatest and most permanent value. 

My obligations to others, for assistance of various kinds, are 
many and great. In their proper places will be found acknow- 
ledgments for such as I have used of the communications or 
suggestions of my correspondents. I would repeat here my hearty 
thanks for their generous and valuable aid. I have not hesitated 
to ask help wherever it seemed to promise the slightest increase 
of value to the book, and my requests have uniformly received 
prompt and courteous attention. The name of W. W. Keen, 
M.D.j of Philadelphia, should be added to the note at page 52, 
as I recently learned my indebtedness to him for the conveyance 
of a package of valuable documents from Paris. 

The officers of the United States Government confirmed their 
previous kindness to the Commission by readily granting such 
requests as I had occasion to ask. 

It would be a pleasure to record here the names of some gentle 


friends, who will discover traces of their handiwork in the 
following pages, but they much prefer to enjoy their discovery 

It is elsewhere noted that John A. Cole, Esq., Rev. E. P. 
Smith, Mrs. A,nnie Wittenmyer, and Rev. J. C. Thomas, 
either wholly prepared the narratives of the work in their respec- 
tive departments, or furnished materials therefor. In this con- 
nection the services of Mr. John Irving Forbes demand special 
recognition. For several months he was engaged in selecting and 
arranging materials, with which his previous duties at the Central 
Office of the Commission had made him familiar. He also pre- 
pared the List of Delegates and several of the Statistical Tables. 

The Committee of Publication, under whose superintendence 
the work has been prepared, as well as other gentlemen officially 
connected with the Commission and its Branches, have aided me 
by the examination of my manuscript and proofs. But more than 
to any one else my thanks are due to Chas. Demond, Esq., of 
Bu.-ton. His great familiarity with the operations of the Com- 
mission, from the beginning and in all its departments, has ren- 
dered his assistance of the highest value. He has read all the 
manuscript with great care and has gone patiently over all the 
proofs. His suggestions have been a constant help and his 
approval a constant encouragement. 

It is a personal gratification to acknowledge the courtcsv and 
painstaking attention of the publishers, stereotypers, and en- 
gravers. How well they have done their work it would be super- 
fluous to say. 

My associates in the University, with thoughtful consideration, 
have greatly relieved me in my professional obligations during 


the preparation of this volume, — for an entire year dividing among 
themselves my duties of instruction. 

No pains have been spared to secure accuracy in the facts, 
figures, dates, and names of persons and places. Nothing has 
been stated for which there did not seem to be a satisfactory 
warrant. But it is impossible that there should not be some 
mistakes, — perhaps many, — and their correction will be thank- 
fully received. 

The Introduction is unavoidably fragmentary and imperfect. 
But it contains many interesting facts, — some curious and some 
very sad. If it aids in stimulating some one to investigate the 
subject there sketched, one design of its insertion will be attained. 

The chapter on Preliminary Movements is believed to be 
more nearly complete than any similar record of the first indica- 
tions that our people were ready for the philanthropic and Chris- 
tian activity which the terrible conflict rendered imperative. 

The engravings, with one or two minor exceptions, are from 
photographs, and materially increase the value of the book. The 
portrait of Mr. Stuart has been added, because of the wide- 
spread desire of his fellow-laborers in the Commission to possess 
this soui-cnir of their association. 

The book is sent forth with diffidence, and yet not without 
confidence, — trusting that it will commend itself to those who 
sustained and encouraged the Commission by their prayers and 
their beneficence, and to Him also whose name the Commission 
wore and who bestowed upon it so constantly and so abundantly 
of His blessing. 

Lemuel Moss. 

University at Loswisbdrg, Penna., 1 

Xovembcr 12, 1S07. J 















2 9 























CHAPEL AT MEADE STATION. V.i — Interior 184 
















The recent conflict for the preservation of the American Union 
lias familiarized the minds of the people with the scenes and 
operations of war. The history of past wars is now irradiated 
with the light of actual experience, and they have thereby be- 
come invested with a new interest. The motives, the precursors, 
the attendant circumstances, the results for human welfare and 
advancement, in the previous contests of the race, have become 
questions of new significance, for which also we now have the key 
to a better understanding. 

The inrluenee of Christianity upon war has been signalized 
during our civil strife as never before, and by the light of the 
present illustration we can more clearly trace the past movements 
and progress of this influence upon the passions of men. His- 
tory furnishes many more contrasts than parallels to our war, 
because in the vast majority of instances, both ancient and 
modern, wars have been undertaken by monarchical or despotic 
powers, from motives of personal aggrandizement, envy, and 
revenge, or for the political glory of the ruling classes. Never 
before were the people of a nation so immediately concerned in 
the declaration, support, and direction of a great war, for the 
maintenance of national unity and the promotion of human broth- 
erhood. The agency of Christianity in preparing the circum- 
stances and conditions of such a war, — in starting and shaping 
the questions which rendered it possible and inevitable, — in 
training the nation to an appreciation of its duty, and in supply- 



ing the power to perform it, — suggests a theme of surpassing 
interest. Its just treatment would require a survey of the entire 
field of modern history, for the seeds of our present discussions 
and attainments, in civil and religious freedom, were deposited in 
human society by the teachings of Christ and during the mis- 
sionary labors of the Apostles. 

But if the agency of Christianity is signally manifest in pre- 
paring the nation for the war and the war for the nation, the 
power and beneficence of its ministry were displayed amid the 
very scenes of the war, in a manner and to an extent wholly 
unparalleled in history. " Christianity has been for centuries 
winning triumphs. It has civilized and instructed the masses, 
founded schools and seminaries, diffused the knowledge of human 
rights, sanctified the press, and influenced the governments of 
earth. It has entered the domestic circle, and elevated woman ; 
it has purified and ennobled the relationships of life; and the 
highest and purest of spirits have given it their homage. But 
never before had it stepped forth in all its glorious radiance upon 
the field of battle." ' 

As introductory to an account of this ministry of Christianity 
upon the field of battle, in the operations of the U. S. Christian 
Commission, it may be well to glance at the position of the sol- 
dier in the past history of war, as seen in the care bestowed 
upon his physical and moral wants. Ours was emphatically the 
soldiers' own war. They fought for themselves and their fami- 
lies. They fought also for the government which they had estab- 
lished, and which they were determined to maintain and control, 
as the instrument of their own prosperity. Hence the •whole 
nation was, in one sense, in the army, — a part going as delegates 
for all into the field, while the others remained at home to succor 
and sustain them. This truth, the constant remembrance of 
which is essential to an understanding of the war, in the unity, 
universality, and fervor of the national purpose, and essential also 
to a comprehension of the work of the Commission, in its method 

1 Bishop Simpson's Address at the Closing Anniversary of the Christian Com- 


and extent, can be best appreciated from the brief historical 
survey proposed. The survey must be brief, and in many respects 
very inadequate, for it is an inquiry which no one has prosecuted 
as a special study, and the scanty materials are widely scattered 
throughout ancient and modern literature. Yet something can 
be said which will aid in justly estimating the subject directly 
before us. 

The first distinct mention of war is in the Bible (Gen. xiv), 
at a date more than a thousand years earlier than the birth of 
Homer or the fabled founding of Rome. Abraham, the " father 
of the faithful" and the "friend of God," is brought before us as 
a victorious warrior. Standing as Abraham does at the begin- 
ning of political and ecclesiastical history, it is of interest to 
observe that the drama of civilization and religious progress 
opens with war and with triumph for the right. There had been 
fightings before, for the wickedness and violence of man had 
been great, but the records are fragmentary and the allusions 
obscure. The wandering tribes and families were segregating 
and crystallizing into nations and governments. The race as a 
race had now reached its lowest point of impiety and barbarism. 
From henceforth, beginning with one man, there is to be a sepa- 
rate and divinely-instructed people, whose fortunes, under the 
various aspects of the patriarchate, Judaism, and Christianity, are 
to constitute the main story of human progress, and in their 
relations to whom the histories of other peoples become signifi- 
cant and valuable. Chedorlaomer, an Elamite chief, with several 
confederates, made a sudden foray upon the cities of Sodom and 
Gomorrah and the neighboring communities, — killing, capturing, 
and dispersing them. "And they took all the goods of Sodom 
and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. And 
they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and 
his goods, and departed." Immediately on learning of the dis- 
aster Abraham "armed his trained servants, born in his own 
house, three hundred and eighteen," — the first company of godly 
soldiers on record, — put himself at their head, and pursued after 
the offenders. With great courage, and no little strategy, he 


attacked the freebooters and completely despoiled them. " He 
brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother 
Lot and his goods, and the women also, and the people." No 
wonder that Abraham received the congratulations and thanks 
of those whom he had so greatly befriended, and who could 
appreciate the chivalrous generosity of this servant of God. 

After the Jews became a nation and entered on the possession 
of Canaan, they were, like all the nations of antiquity, continu- 
ally involved in war. " War," says Goldwin Smith, " was the 
universal state of nations in early times ; and the strong though 
coarse foundations of human character were laid in the qualities 
of the warrior. The Jews were always surrounded and always 
threatened by war. Therefore to fight valiantly for his country 
and his temple was part, not only of the civil duty but of the 
moral training of a Jew, and to be with the people in the hour 
of battle, and exhort them to behave bravely, was part of the, 
office of the priest, and consistent with the character of his call- 
ing." ' (See Deut. xx.) 

From the laws of war and the position of the priest in the 
army it is evident that the Jewish soldier was not wholly neg- 

1 Does the Bible sanction American Slavery? By Goldwin Smith, ll. d., Regius 
Professor of Modem History in the University of Oxford, England. Cambridge : 
Sever and Francis. ISI'4. See page 17. 

This admirable pamphlet has a permanent value, aside from the particular 
theme discussed, in its statement and illustration of the principles of historical 
criticism. As pertinent to the present subject, a few additional sentences may be 
given. Commenting upon Deut. xx, as showing the superior moral advancement 
ol the Jews, Professor Smith says, "The Mosaic laws of war for the present day 
would be very inhuman; for that day, and compared with the practices blazoned 
on the triumphal monuments of Assyrian and Egyptian warriors, they were 
humane. That which is of Moses and of God in this passage is the command to 
proclaim peace to a city, and give its garrison the option of saving their lives by 
becoming tributaries, before proceeding to the usual extremities of Oriental war. 
The duty of giving quarter to the garrison of a city taken by storm was not known 
to the group of primitive nations of which the Jews were one; it was not known 
to the polished Athenian who massacred the inhabitants of Melos without mercy; 
it. was not known to the combatants in the Thirty Years' War : it was hardly 
known to Cromwell ; but it is known now." Page 15. The kings of Israel had 
the reputation among surrounding nations of being "merciful kings." (1 Kings 
xx. 31.) 


lected, either as to bodily care or religious culture. But the 
notices in. the Bible on these points are so few and meagre that 
we cannot gain much particular knowledge. It is a singular 
fact that while much curious information on the warlike customs 
of other ancient nations has been obtained from the remains of 
sculptures, vases, bronzes, mosaics, and paintings, which have 
survived to our times, we have no such source of information 
respecting the Jews. " In remarkable contrast to Greece, Borne, 
Egypt, and we may now add Assyria, Palestine has not yet 
yielded one vestige of the implements or utensils of life or war- 
fare of its ancient inhabitants; nor has a single sculpture, piece 
of pottery, coin or jewel, been discovered of that people with 
whose life, as depicted in their literature, we are more familiar 
than with that of our own ancestors." 1 The general treatment 
of the early Jewish Army is thus summed up by the authority 
just quoted : "The maintenance and equipment of the soldiers 
at the public expense dates from the establishment of a standing 
army," in the reign of David. Before that time "each soldier 
armed himself, and obtained his food either by voluntary offer- 
ings (2 Sam. xvii. 28, 29), by forced exactions (1 Sam. xxv. 13), 
or by the natural resources of the country (1 Sam. xiv. 27). On 
one occasion only do we hear of any systematic arrangement for 
provisioning the host (Judg. xx. 10). It is doubtful whether 
the soldier ever received pay, even under the kings. The only 
instance of pay being mentioned applies to mercenaries (2 Chron. 
xxv. (3). But that he was maintained while on active service, and 
provided with arms, appears from 1 Kings iv. 27; x. 16, 17; 2 
Chron. xxvi. 14, 15."' 

A writer in several numbers of the Army and Navy Journal 
for 1SG4 treats of the medical arrangements in the armies of the 
ancients. He shows by circumstantial reasoning and historical 
facts that much more attention was paid to the wants of their 
soldiers than is commonly supposed. We know that the Egyp- 
tians, as well as the Greeks and Romans, made attainments in 

1 Smith's Dictionary of the /'■>'■<'<. word ArTnor. 

2 Dictionary of the Bible, woril Army. 


medicine which would be deemed respectable even at the present 
time, and that at least in the earlier periods of history their sol- 
diers were regarded with special honor. Anecdotes might he 
gathered from their literature, and some formal statements and 
legal prescriptions, which confirm the favorable presumption thus 
raised, that their soldiers were well cared for. In Egypt physi- 
cians were supported from the public treasury, and were required 
to treat soldiers without charge.' The Babylonians and Chal- 
deans had no physicians. " In cases of sickness the patient was 
carried out and exposed on the highway, that any persons passing 
by, who had been affected in a similar manner, might give some 
information respecting the means that had afforded them relief." 
No one was allowed to pass the sick without seeking to ascertain 
their diseases.' 2 Cyrus, King of Persia, according to Xcnophon, 
spared no pains to procure for his soldiers all that could contri- 
bute to their welfare. Even if the work of Xcnophon is a 
romance, it at least shows what he regarded as the duty of a good 
commander. The writer in the Army and Navy Journal above 
referred to, says that "the first mention of medicine in war in 
authentic history (as opposed to poetry and mythological chrono- 
logy based on obscure facts), is at the siege of Crissa, or rather of 
Cyrrha, near Delphi, on a bay of the Gulf of Corinth, by the 
Ainpliietyons, about B. c. COO. A pestilential malady prevailing 
in the camp of the besiegers, they sent for Xebrus, the great- 
great-grandfather, of Hippocrates the Great, to visit their camp. 
The physician proceeded thither, and seems to have brought 
health in his train, since by his police and attention the pestilence 
was overcome, and the sanitary condition of the troops was entirely 
restored." It appears indeed that on this occasion Xebrus, the 
most famous physician of his time, took with him his sou Chrysus, 
scarcely less celebrated as a physician, and took also a large war 
vessel fitted up at his own expense with both medical and mili- 
tary apparatus. Their heroism and skill were of great service to 

1 Rawlinson's Herodotus, Vol. II, p. 117, note. 

- Rawlinson's Herodotus, Vol. I, p. 203 : Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Soman 
Antiquities, word Medicina, 


tlic besiegers. 1 It is prtib'able that the greatest physicians in 
Grecian history were at times employed in the army, at least for 
the care <>t' the lenders. Many anecdotes are told of the atten- 
tion of Alexander the Great to Ins soldiers, — sharing their pri- 
vations, visiting the sick and wbunded,-and giving commands for 
the relief of their wants.- It is thought that the ancient Romans, 
especially in their later history, had an organized medical depart- 
ment in their armies. The probabilities are; however, that from 
all the appliances and advantages noticed the common soldier 
profited very little. 

I Silt not to dwell on these details, which are obscure at lust, 
and can hardly lie of general interest, we are permitted to give the 
testimony of those whose knowledge of the entire subject will be 
readily admitted, and who have kindly answered our inquiries. 

Henry Coppe'e, i,l. d., President of Lehigh University, Beth- 
lehem, Penna., thus writes: — "The hospital arrangements of 
the Greeks and Romans were extremely meagre. The Grecian 
soldier was to a great extent his own surgeon, and many of them 
had some skill in the rude surgery of the time. The physicians 
of Alexander the Great were for his own behoof and that of his 
friends, and did not take care of his troops. 

"The Medieus Vidnerariws (physician for wounds) of the Ro- 
mans was attached to the legion, and was highly esteemed.? But 
with the subversion of Rome the military system became quite 
chaotic, and the troops depended fir the care of their health on 
quackish camp followers, not much above the Indian ' Medicine- 
Men.' I think yon may safely start with the assertion that hos- 
pitals, army asylums, etc., have had their origin in modern 

1 Smith's Dictionary qf Greek and Roman Biography, articles Nebrus and Chrysus. 

■ See Philip Smith's History of the World, pp. I'. 1 . 77. etc. 

3 ••Tin' Romans, ii i- con led by the Conversations Lexicon, had Division Sm- 

Vedicx Vulnerarii), one to each lejjinn. This statement does not go far 
enough. There were surgeons, not only to legions, but alBO to cohorts {modern 
battalions). Besides these there were classes of officers especially charged with 
collecting and taking care of the wounded, etc." — Army and Navy ■' 
August 27th, 1844. 


Professor Tayler Lewis, ll. i>., of Union College, writing 
more at length, says: "There is nothing in all antiquity that can 
be compared with the labors of the Christian Commission in our 
country. I refer not now to that part of the work which may 
be called Christian in the more special sense, and which was 
altogether unknown to the ancient States. There was but little 
done tor the bodily sustenance or the outward help of the poor, 
whether they became destitute from ordinary causes or the casual- 
tics of war and the public service. 1 Still we must not judge them 
by modern ideas. The state of society was so different, — almost 
all manual labor being performed by slaves, — that our political 
economy, as well as our notions of charity, become inapplicable 
to their circumstances. Not to enter upon this, however, which 
would lead me away from the main questions you propose, I 
would simply give you the little information that is to be obtained 
in respect to their treatment of disabled soldiers. This is scanty 
enough* There are no treatises upon the subject, nor any extended 
references to it in the historians or the orators. An allusion here 
and there by Aristotle or Plutarch, or some of their most discur- 
sive writers, is all that can be found. The Greek States, and 
especially Athens, did make such provision, though certainly not 
on any very large scale. One reason that may be given is, that 
the objects requiring such bounty were far less numerous than 
those that are made by our modern wars. The Greeks had no 
standing armies, nor even any that can well be compared to our 
volunteers, — entering upon a Held service for two or three years. 
They were quick levies of citizen soldiers or sailors, sent out on 
defensive or offensive excursions, and soon returning to give place 

1 Dr. Arnold, writing of the Roman Empire as it was at the beginning of the 
Christian era, says, " Charity ami general philanthropy were so little regarded as 
duties, that it requires a very extensive acquaintance with the literature of the 
time t>> find anv allusion to them. There were no puhlie hospitals, no institutions 
fur the relief of the infirm and poor; no societies for the removal of abuses or the im- 
provement of the' condition of mankind, from motives of charity. Nothing was done 
to promote the instruction of the lower classes, nothing to mitigate the miseries 
of domestic slavery, and tar less to stop altogether the perpetual atrocities of the 
kidnapper and the slave-market." — Encyc. Metropol., as quoted in Kitto's Biblical 
Cyclopedia, third English edition, Vol. Ill, page 694. 


to others. This continued until the long Peloponnesian War 
(b. c. 130) began to make a change in the military service. 
Their campaigns were short, sharp, and decisive. Hence the 
casualties of war, aside from those directly killed and wounded, 
were much less than in our own times. Hence too there is so 
little to be found respecting any hospital or commissary service 
in the Greek wars. Again, from the very nature of their fight- 
ing, 1 the number of the wounded bore a much less proportion to 
the killed than it now does. Battles were fierce and short, soon 
decided by the rout (zoo-rj) of one side or the other, and then it 
was escape or slaughter. 2 Few prisoners were taken. We see 
this from the great noise the Athenian orators and demagogues 
made about the few hundred prisoners they once happened to take 
from the Spartans at Pylos. The Bible historians, too, show 
this. We read of the great numbers of the slain (so great some- 
times that we arc almost driven to the supposition of numerical 
mistakes in the text), 3 but we seldom if ever read of the wounded 
or the sick in camp. Indeed this last item, which is so important 

1 " The combat assumed the form of a number of hand-to-hand contests, depend- 
ing on the qualities of the individual soldier rather than on the disposition of 
ma — . Hence the value attached to fleetness ofToot and strength of arm (2 Sam. 
i. 23: ii. 18; 1 Chron. xii. 8). Another mode of settling the dispute was by the 
selection of champions |l Sam. xyiij 2 Sam. ii. 14-17), who were spurred on 
to exertion by the offer of high reward ( I Sam. xvii. 25 : 2 Sam. xviii. 11 ; 1 Chron. 
xi. in." Smith's ]' Bible, word War. The same remarks apply to 
the other nations of antiquity not less tlian to the Jew--. See Smith's Dictionary 
of Greek and 'Roman Antiquities, word Exercitus. 

2 In the ancient phalanx a reverse was never provided for. See New American 
Cyclopedia, Vol. 11, page 120. 

3 To take an example: In 2 Chron. xiii is an account of Abijah's victory over 

Jerol i. Iris said that Abijah had "an army of valiant men .if war. — even 

four hundred thousand chosen men:" and that Jeroboam had "eight hundred 
thousaud chosen men. being mighty men of valor." They fought with the ani- 
mosity of parties to a civil war. and with the desperation and stubbornness charac- 
teristic of their nation. The result was, that of Jeroboam's men live hundred 
thousand were slain in the hand-to-hand contest and subsequent rout. If now. 
through the mode of ancient notation, these numbers arc here overstated, the 
error equally affects each enumeration, so thai the proportions remain the 

Thai i- i" say, one army was twice the size of the other, arid five-eighths of the 
larger army were destroyed. With this compare the stale m that in Cresar's 


in our modern statistics, hardly appears at all in the ancient 
military narratives. 

" The Greeks attached great importance to the recovery of the 
bodies of the dead. Hence we find in the account of almost every 
battle particular mention of negotiations between the opposing 
commanders on that subject. The sending of a herald for the 
recovery of the dead was an acknowledgment of defeat, but the 
general who should have suffered them to remain with the enemy, 
would have received more censure at home for so doing than for 
his failure in obtaining the victory. On one memorable occasion, 
even when a naval victory was obtained, the triumphant com- 
manders were voted to be put to death for their neglect, in not 
recovering the dead bodies from some of the sinking ships. The 
minuteness with which their writers dwell on this matter shows 
that they would have been equally explicit on other things, had 
there been the same grounds of reason and fact. Their bodies 
were carried home (if it could be done), and solemn funeral 
orations were delivered on the occasions. These are strongly 
called to mind by the proceedings at Gettysburg, where we 
seemed to come nearer to the old Greek modes of thinking than 
at any other point of our military history. Mr. Everett's ora- 
tion there, and Mr. Lincoln's short but most pathetic address, 
were equal to anything ever delivered on such occasions by 
Pericles or Isocrates. 1 

great victory over the Nervii, out of an army of sixty thousand warriors the con- 
queror slew all except five hundred: (See Smith's History of the World, Vol. III. 
p. 21(5). It may not he amiss to add the following note from the Annotated Para- 
graph Bible (London Religious Tract Society's octavo edition), page 516: — "With 
reference to the numbers of armies mentioned in the (Biblical) history, which 
appear sometimes exceedingly large, it is to be remembered that in Eastern nations 
every person capable of bearing arms was compelled to join the host when the 
monarch pleased ; that oriental sovereigns seem to have prided themselves on the 
numbers rather than the discipline of their troops; and that the enumeration 
probably often includes the followers of the camp, who in the East are sometimes 
far more numerous than those armed for battle." (See Kitto's Cyclopedia of Bibli- 
cal Literature, word War,) 

1 In illustration of Prof. Lewis's statements it may be proper to refer more fully 
to the Athenian custom of giving public funerals to her soldiers, as shown by the 
example at the close of the first year of the Peloponnesian war: "According to 


" But, as I said before, they did make provision for the wounded, 
sometimes in the general -poor lavjs (which the Greek States, 
Athens certainly, maintained as part of their standing policy, 
although I am aware that this lias been denied), and sometimes 
by special provision. It was not only in their hypothetical or 
Utopian writings, — such as Plato's treatise De Lajibus, where he 
lays down a system of legislation for a fancied State, but in their 
actual polity. We find express mention of it among the actual 
laws of Solon.' It was also provided by the regulations of Pisisr- 
tratus, — tyrant though he was called. In the article aSuvazoc 
(" the disabled") Suidas speaks of as many as five hundred each 
day being thus taken care of at the public expense. That would 
be thought a small number now, but it was actually large for 
those times, and it was regarded as a consequence of the long and 
severe Peloponnesian war. It is stated in one place- that the 
do'juizue (disabled) received two oboli a day, — a sum doubtless 

the annual custom of Athens, the soldiers who had fallen in the campaigns of 
this summer were honored with a splendid public funeral and a monument in the 
suburb called the Ceramicus (the Potter's Quarter). Their children were educated 
at the public expense, and when the sons came to the military age they received 
a suit of arinur. and were presented to the people on the stage at the Dion] 
(feast -I Bacchus). The Greek religion required a strict performance of funeral 
in-, till which the shades of the dead were supposed to wander around tin' abode 
ul Hades, forbidden to pass the waters of the Styx. For this reason, as well as not 
to leave such trophies in the hands of the enemy, the utmost importance was 
attached to the recovery of the bodies of those who fell in battle. They were burnt 
upon tin- Geld, and their bones were carried home for the public funeral. Two 
days before the ceremony the remains were laid in state before a tent, whither the 
relatives brought their offerings. At the time of the funeral, the bones were placed 
in coffers "I r\ press wood, one for every tribe, and borne forth on cars, followed by 
an empty bier covered with a pall, representing those who were not found at the 
taking up of the dead. Every resident in Athens who pleased, whether citizen or 
foreigner, joined in the procession, and the tomb was surrounded by wailing 
women, the relatives of the deceased. When at last they were deposited in the 
ground, a man. appointed to the office for his intelligence and worth, mounted a 
lofty platform and pronounced their eulogy, and so the people were dismissed. 
On this occasion the funeral oration was by Pericles; and tin' report of it in the 
pages of Thucydides forms one of the most remarkable remains of the literature 
of any people."— .History of the World, by Philip Smith, Vol. I, p. 197. 

1 See Plutarch, Life of Solon, see. 31. 

- Harpocration, on the word iHvant. 


sufficient for them, though I Lave uot sufficient financial or statis- 
tical knowledge to judge of its value as compared with our pres- 
ent values and present standards of money-. There is a good deal 
said on this subject in one of the orations of Lysias, made on 
behalf of a wounded soldier who claimed this public bounty or 
pension. The orator aims to show that the plaintiff was entitled 
to it, though he carried on at the same time a trade by which he 
might be maintained. It was enough, as the speaker contends, 
that he was disabled in his country's service, and had to go on 
erntehes. We learn from an oration of 2Eschines that there was 
a regular examination of candidates for this bounty, and that it 
wa> conducted in public by the council of Five Hundred (or the 
Athenian Senate), — most probably by a committee appointed by 
that body. This is enough to show that it was a standing pro- 
vision, guarded by careful and judicious regulation. 

"Aristotle 1 describes Hippodamus, an ancient philanthropist, 
and one who, if what he says of him be true, would be thought 
an excellent philanthropist now. He proposed a great many 
public improvements, — among other things, the offering of 
rewards to inventors of anything useful to the State or to society. 
This man introduced a pension law, making provision for the 
children of those who had been wounded or slain in battle. The 
philosopher speaks of it as something which had not before been 
done; though he adds (immediately afterwards) that "such is the 
law now, — nut only in Atliens,but in other Grecian stat,*.' From 
what Aristotle says of him, this man Hippodamus, had he lived 
in the days of St. Peter, might have been a Cornelius: or had he 
heard St. Paul, might have believed, like Dionysius the Areopagite. 
At least so I love to think, and to indulge the idea that in those 
days of war and corruption and selfishness there may have been 
other men like him, whom the day of judgment will bring to 
light, — men doing good and serving God according to the 
measure of their knowledge. They would have belonged to the 
old Christian Commissions, had there been any such. His gnat 
worth has been obscured in the political clamor and political 

1 Iu his Politico, Book II, eh. v. 


corruption which surrounded him, just as the Christian Commis- 
sion at the present day is ignored by the rabble of hungry |>< >1 it i- 
ciaris; but there is a record kept of such men elsewhere, and I 
rejoice to think that perhaps there were more of them in ancient 
times than we may imagine, lie seems to have been appreciated 
by the great philosopher, who lias left this casual mention of 
him, and thereby rescued him from unmerited oblivion.'' 

The statements and illustrations of Professor Lewis arc appli- 
cable, with little mollification, to the entire period of ancient 
history. The Romans had more organization in military affairs 
than the Greeks, but it is by no means certain that better care 
«;h taken of the men. That depended upon the personal char- 
acter ot' the emperor or commander. It was a law of war 
that the victor was absolute master of the vanquished. This 
pave desperation to the contest, and subjected those who were 
overcome to indiscriminate and universal slaughter, unless the 
conqueror was pleased to substitute slavery for death. 1 "The 
treatment of the conquered was extremely severe in ancient times. 
The leaders of the host were put to deatli (Josh. x. 26 ; Judg. 
vii. 25), with the occasional indignity of decapitation after death 
(1 Sam. xvii. 51). The bodies of the soldiers killed in action 
were plundered (1 Sam. xxxi. 8); the survivors were either killed 
in some savage manner (Judg. ix. 45; 2 Sam. xii. .">1 ; 2 C'hron. 
xxv. 12), mutilated (Judg. i. <i ; 1 Sam. xi. 2), or carried into 
captivity (Num. xxxi. 2(3; Pent. xx. 13, 14). Women and chil- 
dren were occasionally put to death with the greatest barbarity 

1 "It" we consider the maxims of war which prevailed in the ancient world, ami 
which still prevail in many barbarous nations, we perceive that those who sur- 
vived tin' fury of the battle and the insolence of victory, were only reserved foi mi re 
durable calamities; swept into hopeless captivity, exposed in markets, ">• p] 
in mines, with the melancholy distinction bestowed "ti princes and warriors, — 
aftei appearing in the triumphal procession of the conqueror, — ol being conducted 
to death. The contemplation of such scenes as these forces oil us this awful reflec- 
tion, that neither the fury of wild beasts, the concussions of the earth nor the 
boI tempests, are to be compared to the ravages ot aim-: and that natnre 
in her utmost extent, or, more properly, divine justice in its utmost severity, has 

l ii" enemy t.. man so terrible a- man."— Robert Hall's Sermon Si • 
on War. 



(2 Kings viii. 12; Isa. xiii. 16; Hos. x. 14; Nah. iii. 10); but 
it was more usual to retain the maidens as concubines or servants 
(Judg. v. 30 : 2 Kings v. 2)." 1 " In the case of war carried on 
for conquest or revenge there were but two modes of dealing 
with the captives, -viz., putting them to death or reducing them 
to slavery."- The Jewish laws and usages of war, as to the 
slaughter and enslavement of captives and prisoners, were less 
severe than those of contemporary nations, or of the Greeks and 
Romans. "That the vanquished in war become the property of 
the victors," says Aristotle, "is acknowledged to be law." 1 

A recent writer says, that in the Roman armies the soldiers 
were accustomed to assist each other in their sicknesses and wounds; 
and thai the Emperor Aurelian (\. i>. 27(>), according to Flavins 
Vopiscus, commanded this practice by a special proclamation, 
and continually urged its observance upon his subordinate 

The following clear summary may he presented at this point: — 
" Military surgery was formerly but little understood, and those 
who were wounded on the field were left to the care of those 
around them, without any selection of tit or unfit persons for the 
duties of surgery. The wounded soldier had to implore the aid 
of friends or strangers, as the case might be, or go unheeded 
because no one could attend to him. Still, it often happened that 
from habit and necessity some persons became more or less skill- 
ful in dressing wounds on the field : and as in former times, 
before the invention of gunpowder, the common run of wounds 
was made by swords, daggers, and sharp instruments, or by dull 
weapons causing contusions, no greai skill was necessary to dress 
such wounds, and hence little attention was paid to the medical 
or surgical requirements of the army.'"' 

During the Middle Ages, while the Roman Empire was bring 

1 Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, word M a Ibid., -word Slave. 

'See Smith's Dictionary of Greek and " Intiquitiss, wor3 Serous; also 

Writings of Professor B. B. Edwards, Vol; II. s eery. 

i La < ; ■ ■ sur 1es Champs de Eaiaille. Paris, 1S65. See page 93. 

5 New American Cyclopedia, word Ambulance. 


broken up, and the modern nations of Europe were being con- 
structed from tin' ruins, society was in a chaotic state. Wars, 
petty or large, were universally and continually prevalent. Ir- 
ruptions of barbarians, contests of rival and envious kings or 
feudal chiefs, the attempted and often successful subjugation of 
bated "heretics" by so-called "holy alliances," the crusades, — 
all these tilled the earth with turmoil and desolation. Chris- 
tianity had little direct influence in the management of political 
affairs, and though its name was often invoked its power was 
seldom manifest in the struggles for empire and dominion. War 
was the pastime of the noble and the trade of the peasant, until 
the armies of Europe became hands of mercenaries led by adven- 
turers, often fighting against their native country. 1 

In the rampant disorder, rivalry, and greed, " discipline as a 
science had almost disappeared. It is not remarkable that with 
all other organizations the medical department should have fallen 
into decay. The fate of the sick and wounded was hardly better 
than that of prisoners.} those who could not crawl from the field 
were generally put to the sword by the victorious army, whose 
own wounded did not experience a much better fate." .... 
"The Abbe Suger, State Minister ami historian of Louis the 
Fat, in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, says that 'as many as 
possible of the wounded were carried oil' in litters; those who 
could not he removed were left as a prey to the wolves.'" 2 

1 "The command of money was tin- command of armed hirelings, more sure 
and steady in battle, as we must confess with shame, than the patriot citizen.*' 
"The use of mercenary troops prevailed much in Germany during the thirteenth 
century. In Italy it was also very common; though its general adoption is to be 
referred to the commencement of the succeeding age." — Hallam's Middle Ages, 
Ch. II, Part ii. 

"The long duration of the Italian wars that commenced with the invasion of 
'. ii' -. brought a species of troops into the field that must have been formidable 
enough t<> the countries in which they fought, whatever they may have been to 
the enemies against whom they contended. These were the so-called ot 
volunteenj, -adventurers, in fact, who look the field in bands, under leaders of 
ilteir own election, and served without pay, satisfied with the booty-they could 
collect." — Biographies of Eminent S ■. i>j Major-l i il John Mitchell. 

Edited by I ahard Schmitz. London, L865. See page 331. 

'-'.!>■„ tml, Aug. 6, 186 I. 


There were occasional and slight gleams through the general 
darkness of the scene, — incidental and temporary alleviations of 
the prevalent rapacity, cruelty, and neglect. The indirect influ- 
ence of Christianity, however corrupt and weakened, was con- 
siderable, and it was often successful in securing consideration 
for the common people, and in mitigating the horrors of war. 
Chivalry did something in the same direction, and there are noble 
instances on record of individual efforts for the help of the help- 
less, including the victims of war. 

Leo VI, Emperor of the East, toward the end of the ninth 
century, gave instructions to his generals to provide assistants for 
the removal and care of the wounded, after an engagement. A 
reward was given to them for each warrior they saved. These 
assistants were soldiers selected from the several cohorts, were 
not armed, in the movements of the army they occupied conve- 
nient places for their work, and were furnished with simple means 
for the immediate relief of those who became disabled. 

The famous sultan Saladin (a. d. 1190), whose magnanimity 
and valor are alike extolled, is said by the historians of the 
crusades to have shown a generosity toward the wounded of his 
enemies, worthy of a Christian prince in modern times. 

The charitable orders of the Roman Catholic Church, ready 
to minister to suffering anywhere, were frequently employed in 
the care of soldiers. Women, sometimes of noble birth, gave 
themselves to lives of benevolence and activity among the needy 
and afflicted. Several of the Sisterhoods still in existence had 
their origin thus, as, for example, those which began with some 
of the followers of Vincent de Paul.' The " convents were 
expected to take charge of the sick and wounded who could 
reach their gates. At one time every convent in the kingdom 
(of France) was bound, indeed, to maintain an invalid soldier." 5 

The military orders or Knights gave themselves, more or less, 
to the same service, — at least among their own members. The 

1 See Mrs. Jameson's Sisters of Charity; J. M. Ludlow's Woman's Work in the 
Church; Chattel's Charity of the Primitive Churches. 

2 General Mitchell's Eminent Soldiers, p. 336. 


Knights Templars and the Knights Hospitallers (or Knights of 
St John of Jerusalem, afterwards of Rhodes and of Alalia) were, 
according to Milnian,. " aristocratic brotherhoods, which hardly 
deigned to receive, at least in their high |>lacc>, any but those of 
gentle birth." 1 But their chivalry manifested itself in the care 
of the sick and wounded, during the pilgrimages and in the con- 
tests with the infidels. 5 It is moreover a singular historical fact, 
that the kingdom of Prussia had its origin in a voluntary asso- 
ciation of patriotic citizens for the relief of suffering soldiers. 
During the crusade against Saladin, in which Frederick Barba- 
rossa, Emperor of Germany, was drowned,and his death followed 
by great disaster, the army was wasting away with disease and 
famine before Acre, in Syria (a. d. 1190). Certain of the first 
citizens of Lubeck and Bremen, merchant traders, saw the dis- 
tresses of their countrymen. They at once formed themselves 
into a relief corps. The sails of their ships were taken off, and 
made into tents and pavilions, under the shelter of which they 
received and cared for the sick. They were joined and assisted 
by the brethren of a German hospital, which had been before 
founded in Jerusalem. From this beginning arose the German 
in- Teutonic Order of Knights, — known as the Teutonic Order 
dl' St. Mary. Their first house was at Acre. They soon became 
as aristocratic and exclusive as the other military orders, — save 
that, in remembrance of their origin, the citizens of Lubeck ami 
Bremen were eligible to membership. No other plebeians were 
admitted. In process of time, through the favor of popes and 
princes, and by their own good swords, the Teutonic Knights 
became sovereigns of Prussia. 3 

1 Milmsra'a Latin Christianity, Riverside ed., Vol. VI, p. 535. 

2 A private letter from Mr. J. M. Ludlow contains the suggestion, that " ai 

the original duties of the Hospitallers of St. John was that of succoring the sick 
and wounded "n the pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and afterwards in the wars 
against (he heathen." Also that the Sisters of Charity "were Bent to the French 

armies ;a i mparatively early period oi their existence] and (with probably 

an interval during tlie First Revolution) have continued to beemployed in thera 

nee." "ii the Erst point see Chariti Internationale, p. 116; Marmont's 
oj Military Institutions, Coppee's ed., p. 132. 

:: President Anderson, of the University ol I: culled attention to this 


The introduction of gunpowder, in the thirteenth century, 
wrought a great revolution in everything pertaining to warfare, 
and inaugurated vast changes in the political and social world. 1 
The necessity of discipline and military tactics very soon became 
apparent. Skill and intelligence took the place of brute force 
among the requisites of a good soldier. War became a profession, 
in a higher sense of the term. The modern ideas of national 
unity and international interests began to work, however dimly 
and feebly. The common soldier began to be recognized as a 
man, entitled to consideration and care, and self-interest combined 
with humanity to compel such recognition. It was truer economy 
to care for the trained soldier than to allow him to perish from 
neglect. 2 All those influences which wrought the destruction of 
feudalism, abolished slavery, liberated the serfs, created a middle 
class in society, diffused intelligence, and purified religion, ope- 
rated also to elevate the position of the soldier, and this elevation 
was manifest in the attention to his welfare when sick or wounded. 
The progress was slow, and there were many eddies and ebbs 

historical curiosity, and transmitted an interesting note from Roux de RocheJle's 
work on the Hanseatic League, which has been, in substance, incorporated into the 
text. See also the account in Milman's Latin Christianity, Vol. VI. p. 535. 

1 These changes were slow at first. It was two hundred years from the time that 
gunpowder was known in Europe before firearms were employed in battle with 
any effect. Even then we read of muskets that, it required a quarter of an hour 
to charge and fire, and that had to be supported upon rests. See Hallam'B 
Middle Ages, ch. 3. There was a strong professional prejudice amongst military 
leaders against the new agent of destruction. It was of decidedly democratic 
tendencies, and threatened to destroy all distinctions of rank: — making it quite 
possible that the feudal lord, or even the emperor, might fall by the bullet of the 
peasant. Sometimes, as in wars between Europeans and Turks, the old and new 
modes of warfare came into competition, and not always to the success of the new. 
See Mitchell's Biographies, pp. 20S, 240, etc. 

2 To quote a modern instance: When the British troops were suffering in the 
Crimea, the correspondent of The London Times wrote from Balaklava, " What 
has been the cost to the country of the men of the Brigade of Guards who died in 
their tents or in hospital of exhaustion, overwork, and deficient or improper nutri- 
ment? It would have been cheap to have fed these men who are gone on turtle 
and venison, if it could have kept them alive, and not only those, but the poor 
fellows whom the battle spared, but whom disease has taken from us out of every 
regiment in the expedition."— The War, by W. H. Russell, p. 346. 


in the current, but cm the whole the advance has been ((in- 

The wounds produced by firearms were more serious and com- 
plicated than by the old style of missiles, requiring more surgical 
skill to manage them and more prompt attention to prevent them 
from endangering the life of the soldier. But we find no trace of 
a regularly organized system of military hospitals until the time 
of Henry IV, of France, in the latter part of the sixteenth cen- 
tury. The system then introduced was very imperfect, and 
received little or no improvement before the end of the eighteenth 
century. The first flying ambulance (or flying hospital) was 
established by Larrcy, in the army of Custine, in 1702.' 

A pleasant incident is told of the Catholic Queen Isabella of 
Spain, that during the siege of Granada (a. d. 14!>2) she caused 
six large tents to be fitted up with beds, and called for surgeons 
and physicians to assist the wounded and sick. The soldiers of 
Aragon and Castile gave to this establishment, the first of its 
kind, the name of the "Queen's Hospital." 2 

Toward the middle and during the latter part of the eighteenth 
century, the care of the sick and wounded was sometimes made 
the subject of specific stipulations between the commanders of 
opposing armies. Several instances of this kind are on record, — 
as in 174:> between the parties to the war of the Austrian Succes- 
sion ; in 1759 between England and France, in Flanders ; in the 
same year between Louis XV of France and Frederick the < rreat 
of Prussia; in 1800 between the French and Austrians. These 
instances are more fully related in !.<< Cliarite TvierMrfMtwAe. 
As illustrating them all, the agreement last referred to may he 
given. During the war which raged for a long time in the valley 
of the Danube, it was agreed between the French General Moreau 
and the Austrian General Kray that the wounded should lie 
cared for by both sides, and that after their recovery they should 
he returned freely to their respective corps. The following arti- 

1 -V.«- Am. c>/r.. word Ambulance; La Chariti Internationale, p. 95 ; Mitchell's 
Biographies, p. 336. 
5 La Chariti, p. 94. 


cles, suggested to Moreau by his surgeon-in-chief, the illustrious 
Percy, were adopted as a basis of mutual action : — 

" Wishing to diminish as much as possible the misfortunes of 
war and to ameliorate the condition of soldiers wounded in battle, 
the two Generals have agreed upon these points : 

" 1st. The hospitals shall be considered as sacred asylums. 

" 2d. The location of the hospitals shall be plainly indicated, 
so that the soldiers may readily recognize them. 

" 3d. Each army is charged with the care of these hospitals, 
even alter having lost the country in which they are situated. 

" 4th. The armies will favor and protect, mutually, the service 
of the hospitals in the countries which they shall occupy. 

" 5th. The soldiers, when recovered, shall be sent back to their 
respective armies with escort and safeguard." 

The following interesting account of Percy's endeavor to estab- 
lish a permanent relief corps in the French army, cited from La 
(litti-itr, will show the spirit of the noble man and devoted sur- 
geon. " Worn out," he says, " with the disorders springing up 
continually from the disgusting assemblage of famished and vaga- 
bond nurses; disheartened by the neglect of my requests; sorely 
grieved at seeing so great a number of soldiers die upon the fields 
of battle, whose lives might have been saved and whose limbs 
might have been preserved by the aid of some convenient and 
well-organized method of transportation, and seeing also that it 
was necessary to have, as near as possible to the lines of battle, 
men expressly designated for the relief of the wounded, rather 
than leave this care to the soldiers (who too often seized such an 
opportunity to desert the ranks), 1 took it upon me to organize a 
regular corps of soldier-nurses, to whom I gave the name of t lie 
'Corps of Stretcher-Bearers' [Compagnie de Braneardiers). I 
chose one hundred soldiers from among the most courageous, 
strongest, and most skillful. I had them uniformed, and as soon 
as they were completely equipped I put them at work. Very 
soon the condition of the wounded and sick, before so uesrlected 
and abandoned, was entirely changed. 

" Every one applauded my institution," adds Percy. " I made 


a report to the authorities of the success obtained and of services 
rendered. From Madrid, where I then was, I sent to Paris, as 
a specimen and proof of the work, a detachment of this new kind 
of troop, — which I had clothed and equipped without a penny ? s 
expense to the government. But instead of thanking me, they 
blamed me. My squad was ordered to return forthwith to Mad- 
rid, and the company was disbanded. Fortunately it had existed 
Ion- enough to open the eyes of the chief men of the State, and 
ray project, postponed from political considerations, was definitely 
adopted by a decree of 1813." 

As further indicating the growing spirit of humanity and dis- 
cipline, it is stated that in May, 1809, when the French army, 
by the retreat from Oporto, was forced to leave its wounded. Sir 
Arthur Wellesley, afterwards Duke of Wellington, commander- 
in-chief of the English and Portuguese forces, asked the French 
to send surgeons to take care of their abandoned sick. lie 
granted safe conducts for the coming and returning of the physi- 
cians who were chosen for this purpose. 

During the war of the American Revolution, it does not appear 
that in ii- arrangements tin- the care and comfort of the soldiers 
our army was at all in advance of the armies of Europe at the 
same period. It is perhaps impossible to convey a just impres- 
sion of all the tacts respecting that wonderful ( test. The phy- 
sical dimensions of the war, excepting its duration, were so small 
when compared with its political importance or with our recent 
armies; the patriotic wisdom and devotion of Washington and 
hi- worthy coadjutors were so constant and admirable; there Were 
so much military genius and genuine soldiership displayed; in 
maintaining the conflict so long 1 and so successfully against a foe 
thoroughly trained, equipped, and fed; there was so much of the 
loftiest heroism in the army and among all classes of the people; 
and especially the results were so fruitful in national prosperity ; 
— that oui- traditions have instinctively rejected all that il is 
ungrateful or humiliating to remember, and we are unwilling or 
unable to recall the apathy, shortsightedness, dissensions, delays. 


jealousies, and cruel neglect, thai were abundantly exhibited, alike 
in Congress, the army, and the country. Only the goodness of 
God and the blindness of our enemies saved us from destruction, 
and that not once nor twice. The entire population of the coun- 
try (3,929,827 in 1790) was at that time scarcely more than the 
population of the State of New York at present (3, 831, 777 in 
1865). The whole number of Continental soldiers employed 
during the war was 231,791. The enlistments were mainly for 
short periods, and the war was halt' over before anything worthy 
the name of discipline had been established among the troops. 
This is not the place to detail the causes which led to the priva- 
tions and sufferings of the army of the Revolution. " It is diffi- 
cult to speak of their sufferings ami privations without at leasl an 
appearance of exaggeration ; and vet the testimony is so uniform, 
the details are so minute and so authentic, that the strongesl 
coloring would tall short oi' the dark reality. These sufferings 
began with the beginning of the war and continued to tin' end of 
it. During the first winter, soldiers thought it hard that they 
often had nothing to cook their food with; but they found before 
its close that it was harder still to have nothing to cook. Few 
Americans had ever known what it was to suffer for want of 
clothing: hut thousands, as the war went on, saw their garments 
falling- by piecemeal from around them, till scarce a shred re- 
mained to cover their nakedness. They made long marches 
without shoes, staining the fro/en ground with the blood from 
their feet. They fought battles with guns that were hardly safe to 
hear a half-charge of powder. They fought, or marched, or worked 
on intrenchments all day, and laid them down at night with hut 
one blanket to three men. And thus in rags, without shoes, often 

without bread, they fought battles and won campaigns The 

condition of the officers was scarcely better than that of the men. 
They, too, had suffered cold and hunger; they. to,., had been 
compelled to do duty without sufficient clothing: to march and 
watch and fight without sufficient food. We are told of a dinner 
at which no officer was admitted who had a whole pair of panta- 


Loons ; and of all the invited there was not one who did no( fully 
establish his claims to admission." 1 

We are familiar, or may easily he, with the want ami sufferings 
of the Continental soldiers at Cambridge, West Point, Morris- 
town, Valley Forge, and elsewhere, during successive winters of 
greal severity. Let ns recall, as an example, the condition of the 
army at Valley Forge, in the winter of 1777-'s. The whole 
number of troops when the encampment commenced, in Decem- 
ber, was 11,098 ; of these, L'.SIIS were unfit for duty. "Hunger 
and nakedness assailed that dreary winter camp with all their 
progeny of disease and woe. Thither the soldiers came with 
naked and bleeding feet, and there they sat down where destitu- 
tion held court, and ruled with an icy sceptre. The prevalence 
of Toryism in the vicinity, the avaricious peculations of some 
unprincipled commissioners, the tardy movements of Congress in 
supplying provisions, and the close proximity of a powerful 
enemy, combined to make the procurement of provisions abso- 
lutely impracticable without a resort to force, lint few torses 
were in camp, and such was the deficiency, in this respect, for the 
ordinary as well as the extraordinary occasions of the army, that 
the men in many instances cheerfully yoked themselves to vehi- 
cles of their own construction, for carrying wood and provision- 
when procured; while others performed the duty of pack horse-, 
and carried heavy burdens of fuel upon their backs. As the win- 
ter advanced, their sufferings increased. On the 16th of February, 
Washington wrote to Governor Clinton, ' For someday- pasl there 
has been little less than a famine in the camp. A part of the 
army has been a week without any kind of flesh, and tin- rest three 
or four days, 5 'It was with great difficulty,' says Dr. Thacher, 
• that mon enough could he found in a condition tit to discharge 
the military camp duties from day to day; and for this purpose 
those who were naked borrowed from those who had clothes.'" 

While tin' soldiers at Valley Forge were suffering thus in- 

' Historical View of '■■■■ I F H Greene, 


Book of ih, :: i, Vol. II. pp. 129, 


tensely, Gen. Putnam gives this picture, in a lew words, of what 
those at West Point were enduring; It is in a letter to Wash- 
ington, written in January, 1778. He says, "Dubois's regiment 
is unfit to be ordered on duty, there not being one blanket in the 
regiment. Very few have either a shoe or a shirt, and most of 
them have neither stockings, breeches, or overalls. Several com- 
panies of enlisted artificers are in the same situation, and unable 
to work in the field." 1 

Even in the earlier enthusiasm of 1775, when the little army 
lav at ( 'ambridire and the English were in Boston, the condition 
of the troops was hardly more comfortable. Mr. Greene, in his 
■Historical View, p. 224, says: — " As winter advanced their suffer- 
ings increased. They suffered from want of clothing, and still 
more from want of wood. Trees were cut down, fences pulled 
up, everything that could be made to burn was converted into 
fuel ; and still, hundreds were compelled to eat their food raw. 
And to complete the picture, I must reluctantly add that those 
who had wood, or clothing, or provisions to sell, asked the highesl 
prices and demanded the promptest payment." 

There was no adequate provision by government for the care 
of the soldiers in active service, as is obvious from the foregoing 
statements. It must have been worse with the sick and disabled. 
There was no organization of voluntary relief and assistance 
commensurate with the necessities of the case. There was much 
noble patriotism, hearty sympathy and readiness to share every 
comfort with those who were perilling everything and enduring 
everything for the country. Temporary relief in clothing and 
food was frequently provided, especially through the labors of 
patriotic ladies, and the clergy were constant in their cooperation 
at home and in their ministrations among the troops. Mr. Loss- 
ing, in a private letter, says, — "In the OKI War for Indepen- 
dence the women in many communities had gatherings, often at 
the house of a pastor, to work tin- the needy soldiers. In Phila- 
delphia and in Baltimore were many noble examples of the kind, 
in the later years of the war." 

i Los-ling's Field Book, Vol. I, p. 705, note. 


A few illustrations may be given of the spontaneous and 
generous assistance to which Mr. Lossing refers. "In the 
summer of 1780 the distress of the American army was very 
great, on account of the scarcity of clothing, and the inade- 
quate means possessed by the commissary departmenl to afford a. 
supply. The generous sympathies of the ladies of Philadelphia 
were aroused, and they formed an association for the purpose of 

affording relief to the | r soldiers. Never was the energy of 

genuine sympathy more nobly exercised than by the patriotic 
women who joined hands in this holy endeavor. Mrs. Esther 
Reed, the wife of Gen. Joseph Reed, though feeble in health and 
surrounded by family cares, entered with hearty zeal into the 
service, and was, by the united voice of her associates, placed at 
the head of the society. Mrs. Sarah Bache, daughter of Dr. 
Franklin, was also a conspicuous actor in the formation of the 
association, and in carrying out its plans. All classes became 
interested, and the result was glorious. The Marquis De Chas- 
tellux, who was in Philadelphia while these efforts were in pro- 
gress, was delighted with the event. In describing a vi-it to 
several of the American ladies, he says, 'We began with Mrs. 
Bache. She merits all the anxiety we hail to see her, for she is the 
daughter of Mr. Franklin. Simple in her manners, like her 
respectable father, she possesses his benevolence. She conducted 
us into a room tilled with work lately finished l>v the ladies of 
Philadelphia. This work consisted neither of embroidered tambour 
waistcoats, nor net-work edgings, nor of gold and silver brocade. 
li was a quantity of shirts lor the soldier- of Pennsylvania. The 
ladies bought the linen from their own private purses, and tool; 
a pleasure in cutting them out and sewing them themselves. < In 
each shirt was the name of the married or unmarried lady who 
made it, and they amounted to twenty-two hundred.' The 
results of this effort were great and timely. The aggregate 
amount of contributions in the city and county of Philadelphia 
was estimated at seven thousand five hundred dollars in specie 
value. Added to this was a princely donation from Robert 
Morris of the contents of a ship fully laden with military -tores 


and clothing, which had unexpectedly arrived. During the cold 
winter which followed, hundreds of poor soldiers in Washington's 
camp had occasion to bless the women of Philadelphia for their 
labor of love.'" 

It is related of La Fayette that on a certain occasion as he 
" passed through Baltimore on his way to the field of his conflicts 
at the South, lie was greeted with the greatest respect by the 
people. A ball was given in his honor, at which the marquis 
appeared sad. ' Why so gloomy at a ball?' asked one of the gay 
belles. ' 1 cannot enjoy the gayety of the scene,' replied La 
Fayette. ' while so many of the poor soldiers are without shirts 
and other necessaries.' ' We will supply them,' was the noble 
reply of the ladies; and the gayety of the ball room was ex- 
changed tor the sober but earnest services of the needle. They 
assembled the next day in great numbers to make up clothing 
for the soldiers, of materials furnished by fathers and husbands. 
One gentleman, out of his limited means, gave La Fayette five 
hundred dollars to aid him in clothing his soldiers. His wife, 
with her own hands, cut out five hundred >pairs of pantaloons, 
and superintended the making of theni." 2 

These instances show the spirit and readiness of the loyal 
women of the Revolution, whose patriotism, sacrifice, and endur- 
ance, deserve all praise. 3 They were worthy mothers of those 
whose tender and active sympathies did so much during the recent 
war for the Union. It is also seen what might have been done 

1 Lossing's Field Boo!;. Vol. II, pp. 105-107. 

2 Field Book, Vol. II. p. 187. Mr. Lossing adds, " This gentleman's name was 
Poe. His widow, the lady who cut out the garments, was living when La Fayette 
visited Baltimore in 1824. The two patriots met, and the scene was one of pecu- 
liar interest." 

3 Gen. Washington eould write to the ladies of Philadelphia, after their timely 
benefactions to the army in 17S0: — "The army ought not to regret its sacrifices or 
its sufferings, when they meet with so flattering a reward as in the sympathy "I 
your sex; nor can it fear that its interests will be neglected, when espoused by 
advocates as powerful as they are amiable." See Frank B. Goodrich's Tribute 
Book, p. 24. The munificent contributions there recorded by Mr. Goodrich cer- 
tainly indicate, as he suggests, that the men were not less patriotic and liberal 
than the women. 


if there had been a strong feeling of nationality throughoul the 
country, and some systematized way of manifesting it in the 
popular support of the army. But the time for these things had 
not j et come. 

Nor was there any lack of religious feeling and activity among 
the defenders of American liberty. New England especially had 
been colonized from religious motives and for religious purposes. 
The pulpit was the great educator of the people, and had taught 
them to demand, as it had prepared them to Use, eivil and reli- 
gious freedom. Mr. Thornton justly says, "To the pulpit, the 
Puritan pulpit, we owe the moral force which won our Revolu- 
tion." 1 And so, in the scenes of actual war, none were more 
zealous or useful than the pastors and volunteer chaplains. They 
preached and prayed among the troops, they nursed the sick and 
wounded, they encouraged the people to efforts for the relief of 
the army, and served iii many ways to carry the quickening in- 
fluences of home into the camp. Speaking of the Massachi 
militia, Mr. Greene says, " Their drill was a social and religious 
exercise, followed almost always by a sermon and sometimes by a 
banquet. . . . The minister descended from the pulpit to 
take his place at the head of his company or even in the ranks. 
In the company of minute-men of Danvers the deacon was cap- 
tain and the minister lieutenant; for none in those days si 
to doubt that duty to God comprised duty to the State." 2 

Valuable as these memorials are, representing various parts of 
the country, and illuminating however dimly the times and cir- 
cumstances in which our national Life began, they do not indicate 
any special advance in thought fulness and care for those who 
were enduring privation and peril in the nation's defense, nor 
any special effort to mitigate the inevitable sufferings of war. 
Indeed much of the neglect, from which the army of the Revo- 
lution Buffered in so many ways, must be traced to a widely 
prevalent jealousy of the military power, — a liar that the sol- 

' Pulpit of the America R Ml, page 3S. 

-' 11 i i v), pp. :'l l. 215. 


diers might become too strong for the safety and peace of the 

What was true of the Revolutionary war was true also in a 
general way of the war of 1812. The popular interest was much 
less, as was also the need of voluntary assistance. There was 
the same want of systematic cooperation, and the same readiness 
for temporary relief when any special appeal was made. In the 
private letter already quoted, Mr. Lossing says, "In the city of 
Xew York an association was formed for the purpose of knitting 
.-neks and producing other comforts, for the soldiers who were to 
encounter the rigors of a Canadian, winter in 1813— '14. Mrs. 
Gen. Morgan Lewis was at the head of it." 

During the war in Mexico, in 1846-'7, the American Tract 
Society engaged somewhat in colporteur labors and the distribu- 
tion of publications, in the city of Xew Orleans, among the sol- 
diers on their way to and from the seat of war. " Large cases of 
1 looks and tracts were also sent forward with the army into Mexico, 
and circulated there with cheering results." 

The conclusion to which our review thus far brings us cannot 
be better stated than in the words of the noble English woman 
who is best fitted, by her ample knowledge and practical experi- 
ence, to pronounce a judgment in the ease. In a private letter, 
under date of February 23d, 1866, Miss Florence Nightingale 
writes, " Until of late years then' has been no systematic atten- 
tion paid to the sick and wounded, such as has been done for 
healthy soldiers. Any system which has been introduced at any 
lime has been simply improvised to meet a present emergency. 
i am not aware of any instance in which the miseries and horrors 
of military hospitals during war have been alleviated, by private 
and extra-governmental organization, anterior to the last war with 
Russia. During all former wars, so far as I have been able to 
learn, there have been no attempts at organized private relief. 
There have doubtless been multitudes of instances in which 
< hri.-tian philanthropy has led private persons to receive sick and 
wounded men into their houses, and to tend to them as if they 


were at home. Members of religious orders have at all times 
attended sick and wounded in hospitals. These cases throw a 
gleam of comfort over the most harrowing details of campaigns, 
lint, as I have said, there lias been no organization specially 
devoted to tins purpose." ' 

1 In tin' summer of 1866, the Christian Commission sent to Miss Nightingale, 
by the hand of Rev. T. W. J. Wylie, d. d. of Philadelphia, bound volumes of their 
Annual Reports and other Documents at thai time published. Tin' Commission 
was glad of the occasion i" say, in sending (In' volumes, " We are prompted to this 
offering, uol simply because of your well-known interest in our . truggle, 

l, m because your own labors were an impulse ami guide t" those herein recorded. 
Your influence ami cur indebtedness to you in this work can never be known. 
< inly this is tni''. that everywhere throughout our broad country, during these 

j ars of inventive ami ear I benevoli ace, in the constant endeavors i" su ■ 

ami sustain our imperilled ami heroic defenders, the name ami work of Florence 
\ i :ln Mr' il.' lia v ,■ l n an encouragement ami an inspiration." 

Immediately on receiving tin' volumes, Miss Nightingale sent the subjoined 
mite to Dr. Wylie : — 

i Street, Park L ine, I 
joxnos, W., Sept'. 6, 1865. i 

i ii Street, 1' irk L ine, 

Tin; Rev. T. W. .1. Wylie, d.d. — My Dear sir: I know not how to thank you 
for bringing, or the U. S. Christian Commission lor sending, me the two Annua] 
Reports, etc., which I received yesterday. I know not how to thank you all for 
lin- kind thought of me. 

All that 1 can say in return, is t" express my admiration for the branch of the 
great work of alleviating human suffering which those reports disclose. 

In the history of our lime nothing more remarkable has occurred than the 
universal uprising, so t" speak, of tin- Christian philanthropy of America, t" lend 
its helping ha ml in tin- great struggle through which the country has pas ed. [f 
is a new feature in the experience of humanity, ami it is an inexpressible comfort 
tn have been in any the least degree instrumental in forwarding so great a work. 

I could not help reading through the volume of Reports the first afternoon 1 

received it, though suffering from wearing and increasing Illness, fr bereave 

ment, a helmed with business. It is, at such a time, the only thing I 

a. mlil have read, ami I read it with tears in my eyes, — of sympathy, ot reverence, 
nil admiration. 

I must trusl to your kindness i ake my acknowledgments t" tin- United States 

Chrisl in Commi iion in tin' first place- Hut I shall, of eour e, as soon as I am 
a iih\ ■an 1 1 m vnr to write them some feeble expression of what I felt when I received 

Pray [ear sir, my weak words to mean the deep and strong feeling 

of respectful love with which our sister country, listei in e deepi i si u than that 


We come now to a new era in the history of beiievolence, — 
the organization of relief for sick and wounded soldiers. What- 
ever had been dune hitherto in this direction was the result of 
temporary appeal to meet a special and pressing want. There 
had been in no nation any recognition of the army otherwise than 
as a machine of the government, to be cared for by the govern- 
ment or not cared for at all. It had never been, in any general 
sense, regarded as a company of citizens, — fathers, sons, and 
brothers, — engaged in the peril and horror of war for the nation's 
honor, or for the peace and safety of the homes they represented. 
Hence there was felt no necessity or desire for attesting the popu- 
lar sympathy and interest, by permanent and organized assistance 
fur the army directly from the people. Indeed by those who 
gave to the "problem of misery " the most earnest study, and 
sought to apply the alleviations of Christianity to every form of 
suffering, the physical and moral necessities of the army were 
expressly excluded from the objects of popular benevolence. The 
prize essay of Chaste], perhaps the best treatise extant on the 
subject of charity, has this defect. After a careful and thorough 
survey of the entire history of charity, he gathers its lessons into 
an appeal for public and private benevolence, — personal and col- 
lective, as by particular religious societies and by many of these 
combined, — to meet all eases of need in individuals and families, 
and for disabled classes, as orphans, foundlings, blind, etc., etc. 
But he makes this notable exception: — "We except military 
hospitals, tlie support of which belongs to the State alone. It is 
but just that it should provide at its own expense for those who 
exjiosc in its service their health and their life.'" But it is be- 
in which all Christian countries are sisters, has inspired us in the hour of her 
struggle and of victory. 

Ami pray believe me your and her devoted servant, 

Florence Nightingale. 

1 The Charity of the Primitive Ckurches,by Rev. Stephen Chaste], of Geneva, 
Switzerland. Translated by G. A. Matile. Philadelphia, 1859. See page 319. 
It is ;i singular fact, and not very creditable, that the American translation "i 
this unique and admirable book It'll dead from the press, but a small part of the 
first edition ever finding its way into the market. 


coming understood thai armies and governments are alike the 
agencies of the people's welfare, and that it is the duty no less 
than the prerogative of the people to provide extra-govern- 
mental relief for those who fight their battles and suffer in their 

The war of the Crimea is memorable for the labors of Miss 
Florence Nightingale and her associates, in relief of the sufferings 
of the English troops. The main facts and circumstances of that 
war, in which England, France, and Turkey were arrayed against 
Russia, are too well known to require mention. In April, 1854, 
the English army reached the field of hostilities, and finally left 
Turkey, July 28, 1856. From a variety of causes, but princi- 
pally from an utter want of care, — even to destitution in clothing 
and the absence of all proper food and nursing, — the mortality 
in camp and hospital soon rose to a fearful rate. There seemed 
to he no adequate preparation or provision for the men in any 
respect, and the battle-field was less destructive than hospital, 
transport, or encampment. It was safer to tight than to remain 
at rest, and Balaklava and the Alma were less terrible than 
Scutari. The account of privation, suffering, and death, as spread 
out in the various Reports of Commissions appointed by Parlia- 
ment, in Miss Martineau's England and Her Soldiers, and in 
other documents, is one of the saddest records in the history of 
civilization. " From June, 1854, to June, 1856, inclusive, there 
were received into the ( ielleral 1 lospitals on the BoSphorUS, 13,288 
sick and wounded soldiers, — of whom 5,432 died. Out of this 
mighty host of sick, dying, and dead, fire and sword contributed 
only 4,161 admissions and 395 deaths, during the entire period." 1 
This covers almost the entire time of the army's occupation, in- 
cluding the healthy as well as the unhealthy period. The aver- 
age strength of the English army during the campaign was about 
30,000. The whole number of troops furnished, including the 
original quota and reinforcement-, was 94,000. In the summer 
and autumn of 1854 the mortality throughout the army was at 
the rate of more than thirty-five per centum per annum, or nearly 
1 England and Hi r Soldiers, p. 195. 


thirty times that of Manchester, "one of the most unhealthy 
towns of England. " The people at home were tilled with con- 
sternation, and the government and the nation were startled into 
unwonted activity. For the saddest feature of the ease was that 
the suffering and death were almost wholly from preventible 
causes, — from scurvy and its kindred diseases; Miss Nightingale 
says, " For 'scorbutic disease' read ' bad food, etc.,' and you have 
the cause." 1 Methods of relief were at once devised. A noble 
fund was raised and administered through the agency of The 
London Times; private contributions were hastened forward in 
abundance ; a sanitary commission, for inspection and improve- 
ment, was sent out ; above all, at the suggestion of Hon. Sidney 
Herbert,'- then Secretary of State for War, Miss Florence Night- 
ingale, and under her a band of trained nurses, went to the hos- 
pitals at Scutari and in the Crimea. Forty nurses accompanied 
Miss Nightingale, and fifty followed afterward, led by Miss 
Stanley. What they did is known throughout the world. It is 
true that directly after their arrival (at Constantinople, Novem- 
ber 4, L854, " the eve of the battle of Inkerman"), the mortality 
was higher than before, — being in January, 1S.V>, at the fearful 
rate of over one hundred and seventeen per cent, per annum ; (that 
is, had the same rate of mortality continued, the entire army 
would have died in a little more than ten months.) But it soon 
began to decline and declined rapidly. Miss Nightingale was 
thoroughly fitted for her work, possessed of rare executive ability, 
was heartily sustained by the authorities at home, by the nation, 
and by her assistants. She had abundant extra-governmental 
resources at command. She gave herself wholly to the urgent 
service. " Often she stood for twenty hours in succession, giving 
direction, but she had always a kind word or a smile tor the sick, 

1 Report of Sid mi/ Herbert's Commission, p. 370. 

2 Sidney Herbert, afterward Lord Herbert of Lea, was English Secretary-at- 
War during the Crimean campaign. He died August 2, 1861. In the private 
letter already quoted, Miss Nightingale speaks of him as one -whose work has 
been the greatest in, as his death has been the most fatal loss to, the sanitary and 
moral progress and civilization ol' our army." 


and was soon idolized by the army. No wonder that at the 
end of twenty months she returned to England in impaired health, 
ami has ever since been a confirmed invalid.' 

The result of all these remedial efforts in the English portion 
of the ( trimean army may he given in the .summary statement of 
.Miss Nightingale, in her testimony before the Herbert Commis- 
sion on the Sanitary Condition of t lie Army, etc. "We have 
much more information on the sanitary history of the Crimean 
campaign than we haveon any other. It is a complete example, 
— history does not afford its equaly — of an army, after a great 
disaster arising from neglects, having been brought into the 
highest state of health and efficiency. It is the whole experiment 
on a colossal scale. In all other examples, the last step has Keen 
wanting to complete the solution of the problem. We had in the 
first seven months of the Crimean campaign, a mortality among 
the troops at a rate of sixty per cent, per annum from disease 
alone; — a rate of mortality which exceeds that of the great plague 
in the population of London, and a higher ratio than the mortality 
in cholera to the attacks; that is to say, there died out of the 
army in the Crimea an animal rate greater than ordinarily die in 
time of pestilence out of sick. We had, during the last six months 

of the war, a mortality a g OUT sick not much more than that 

among our healtJiy guards at home, and a mortality among our 
troops in the last five months two-thirds only of what it is among 
our troops at home." ' 

So great a change was wrought by the introduction of sanitary- 
regulations in camp and hospital, by caring for tin' men whil 

transports, by furnishing proper clothing, food, recreation, etc., 
and by such attention in all the details of nursing as secured at 
least the opportunity to recover where recovery was possible. 
Means were provided ti>r reading, writing, etc.: nurses found time 

1 Appli i m's .v, "■ Am. Ctyclopi 

'' Much interesting information res] ' i>'; Miss Nightingale and her labors may 

be I I in the works above quoted; also, as more accessible, in Mrs. Jameson's 

Sisters oj Charity, and McCormick's Visit to th Camp before Sevastoj 
Report, etc., p. 36J. 


to read to their patients, and to write their letters where necessary. 
The men felt the recuperative power of sympathy, and displayed 
the patience, self-restraint, manliness, and courtesy which were 
so conspicuous among our own soldiers in similar circumstances. 
It will be of interest here to note the general duties of Miss 
Nightingale's nurses, as stated by herself in her testimony before 
the Cumming-Maxwell Commission on the Stair of t/i<- Army 
Hospitals in the Crimea am! Scutari: — 

"The nurses are all distributed into wards. The medical men 
in charge of wards apply to me when they want nurses. I refer 
the application to the first class staff' surgeon of the division, 
and, with his permission, I send a nurse or nurses, of whom 
I have the selection. The general nature of their duties they 
learn from my orders. The patients to whom they are to attend 
are indicated to them by the medical officer; also the treatment 
of those patients. They are employed chiefly among the wounded, 
the operation cases, and the severe medical cases. Their duties 
among the surgical cases are to go round in the morning, to Mash 
and prepare such wounds for the medical officers as those officers 
direct, to attend the medical officers in their dressings, and receive 
and bring to me those officers' directions as to the diets, drinks, 
and medical comforts of those cases. They generally go out in 
fours. A quartette had generally a corridor and two wards of 
surgical cases. In the medical divisions the nurse's duty is to 
take such eases as the medical officer confides to her. Her busi- 
ness is chiefly to see that the food is properly cooked and properly 
administered, that the extra diet rolls made on me are attended 
to, and that cleanliness, as far as possible, of the wards and per- 
sons is attended to, and the bed sores dressed." 1 

At first with all confusion : by and by 

Sweet order lived again with other laws; 

A kindlier influence reigned, and everywhere 

Lew voices. with the ministering hand, 

Hung round the sick. The maidens came, they talked, 

They sung, they read, till she net lair began 

To gather light, ami she that was became 

i Report, p. 331. 


tier former beauty treble; to and fro, 
With books, with flowers, with angel offices, 
Like creatures native unto gracious act, 
Arid in (heir own clear element they moved. 1 

The religious wants of the English soldiers in the Crimea il" 
not seem, at the outset, to have been better supplied than their 
physical necessities. Col. Joshua Jebb, in his testimony before 
the Herbert Commission, said thai he had "always been greatly 
struck with the deficiency in the amount of spiritual instruction 
in the army," although the greal readiness of the soldiers to profil 
by such instruction had "always shown itself where any means 
had been afforded them." He regarded it as essential to the 
highest sanitary condition and the efficiency of the troops. lie 
gave statistics to show how much better provision England made 
for the religious and moral welfare of her criminals than of her 
soldiers.-' Mr. McCormick assures us that in the English camp 
in the Crimea, " with few exceptions, the regiments were quite 
destitute of chaplains, and utterly deprived of all religious men 
ings." 3 I!i it there is some alleviation to the general sadness of the 
picture, and later in the campaign, with the introduction of other 
sources of relief and comfort, religious advantages were multi- 
plied. Mr. McCormick speaks of Rev. John Hayward, the 
chaplain of the forces in Balaklava, and his assistant, Mr. Taylor, 
who maintained regular services on the Sabbath and on two 
t evenings in the week. They were indefatigable and efficient, 
especially in their labors among the sick on the ships in the 
harbor. Mr. D. Matheson, a Scotch colporteur and Scripture 
reader, scut out by the Soldiers' Friend Society, to labor among 
the Highland regiments, did very good service. " Possessed of a 
true Scotch heart, large, and full of sympathy and benevolence, 
he was constantly engaged in endeavoring to comfort the sick 
and chiiii;-. At an early hour he would leave his quarters, and 

start for the camp with his | kets and arms tilled with Bibles, 

tracts, and other religious publications, together with such a 

1 Tennyson's Princess, vii. ' Report, etc., i>. 175. 

3 Visit lo ' '■'■ p. 1 16. 


variety of little 'kniekuacks' for the temporal relief of the 
suffering members of his charge, as he could secure from the 
newly arrived vessels. He visited from tent to tent, and by his 
sincerity and unostentatious kindness soon became a great favorite 
both among the officers and men." ' Our own American Bible 
Society was represented in the " camp before Sevastopol," in the 
winter of 1854, by their agent, Rev. C. N. Righter, who was 
courteously and cordially received by Lord Raglan, through his 
Adjutant-General, J. B. Bucknall Estcourt. The troops had 
been provided with Bibles and Testaments at the time of their 
departure from England, but in the confusion of the battles and 
the march from Alma many copies were lost or destroyed. A 
fresh supply was on the way, but had not arrived, and Mr. 
Righter was cheered by the eager welcome that greeted him from 
the men among whom he distributed the Word of Life. As 
already intimated, under the administration of Miss Nightingale; 
and especially through the cooperation of Rev. Mr. Osborne and 
Mr. and Mrs. Braeebridge, much was done for the moral and 
religious welfare of the men. 

The French Army in the Crimea was larger than the English, 
numbering in all 309,268 men. It was much better furnished 
with sanitary and hygienic appliances. Their quartermaster and 
commissary departments were provided against emergencies, and 
from the first there was a supply of competent cooks, and an 
attendance of trained female nurses from among the religious 
orders of " Sisters." It does not appear that any extra-govern- 
mental aid of any kind was proffered or permitted, and hence 
there was no room for the manifestation of popular sympathy and 
appreciation. The regulations woidd not allow the agent of the 
American Bible Society to visit the French troops, as he had 
visited the English, and there seems to have been very little of 
religious spirit or instruction among them. It is singular to 
notice that the rate of mortality among the French soldiers, 
taking the whole period of occupation into account, was much 
greater than among the English, although during the early 

1 Visit, etc., p. 119. 


months it was very much less. For the French the average of 
annual deaths was, from disease alone, over 300 per 1,000 of 
mean strength; for the English it was 252, — the English death- 
rate most wonderfully diminishing from the ratio of over 117 per 
cent, per annum in January, 1855, to less than 1J per cent, in 
February, 185(3.' This difference is not, in all respects, satisfac- 
torily explained. But it cannot he regarded as presumptuous to 
suppose that the unparalleled exhibition of popular appreciation, 
not less than the unwonted attention and care which accompanied 
it, did much toward raising the health of the English troops. 
The thought that they were at last remembered at home, helped 
to ward off disease and to quicken recovery. The tender sympa- 
thy of the Queen, so tenderly expressed, 2 the assuring smile of 
Miss Nightingale, and the lavish expenditure in providing Chris- 
tian ministration for body and soul, saved many an heroic life, 
and proved the most precious sanitary agents. There does not 

1 To estimate the significance of these figures, as bearing upon the rate of mor- 
tality in the army, two things are requisite: — 1st. To compare them with the 
ordinary death rates of settled communities; 2d. To remember that an army is 
composed of picked men, who, from the care taken in their selection and from the 
fact that they are in the prime of life, should show a much less mortality from 
disease than exists in ordinary communities, which include the young, the aged, 
and the invalid of all classes. To aid in the comparison suggested it may be re- 
marked that from the latest and most careful statistics it appears that the annual 
death rate in the United States, England, and France, is slightly in exe. 5 oi ' 
per cent.: — that is. twenty-two persons die annually in each thousand of the 

- The following letter, so worthy of a Christian queen, is worthy also of preser- 
vation here. It was addressed to her War Secretary. Hon. Sidney Herbert: — 

"Windsor Castle, Dec. 6, 1854. 

•• Would you tell Mrs. Herbert that I bogged she would lei me see frequently the 

accounts she receives from Miss Nightingale or Mrs. Bracebridge, as I bear no 

details of the wounded, though I see so many officers, etc., aboul the battle field; 

and naturally the former must interest me more than any one. Let Mrs. Herbei I 

know also thai I wish Miss Nightingale and the ladies would tell these p •, aoble, 

wounded, and sick men. that no one takes a wanner interest, or feels i ■•■ for 

their sufferings, or admires their courage and heroism more, than their Queen. 

hay and night she thinks of her beloved troops. So does the Pril Bi ■ Mrs. 

Herbert to communicate these my words to those ladies, as I know that our -\ m- 
pathy is much valued by those noble fellows. \ [i roaiA." 



seem to have been any such manifestation of popular feeling 
toward the French soldiers, and very little if any unofficial Chris- 
tian care. It is not improbable that this contributed to their 
more rapid destruction by the terrible machinery of war. 

These views, as respects the French troops, are confirmed by 
two articles, of great interest and value, in the Revue t 'hre'tienne 1 
for September and October, 1 865, by Dr. de Valcourt, on the 
" Sanitary Condition of the Annies engaged in the Great Contem- 
porary "Wars," — having special reference to the Crimean war, 
the campaign of France and Sardinia against Austria in 1859, 
and the American Rebellion. The principal French authority 
quoted is Dr. Chenu. After detailing the great suffering of the 
French in the Crimea, in camp and in hospital, from freezing, 
fever, and scurvy, and suitably noticing the devotion of the 
Sisters of Charity to their sick and wounded patients, — (thirty- 
one of these heroic women, during the campaign, died at their 
posts of duty), — Dr. de Valcourt says, " At the beginning of the 
war, the English sick were not so well cared for as our own, but 
subsequently their hospital service was greatly improved. Their 
ambulances 2 in the Crimea were admirably adapted for service. 
Their hospital-transports were arranged with great care for the 
removal of the sick. In the harbor of Balaklava, M. Baudens 
visited an English steam-frigate fitted up as an hospital, contain- 
ing; three hundred beds, where comfort was carried to such an 
extent that they had on board three or four cows. AVise hygienic 
arrangements, joined to select diet, had such success in the Eng- 
lish hospitals that typhus fever did not spread in them alter 1855. 
All this improvement was due to the devotedness of the physi- 
cians and the female nurses. Miss Nightingale was able greatly 

1 Some unknown friend most kindly forwarded these copies of the Revue from 

2 An Ambulance in the French army, as the reader will have noticed, is what 
we should now call a Ftying-3p3pital,—a portable hospital, that is. one of which 
at least is attached to each division of an army in the field, moving with the 
troops, and provided with all the requisites for the immediate succor of the sick 
and wounded. As applied to a wagon or cart for carrying the disabled, the use of 
the term Ambulance is quite recent. 


to extend her benevolent work, — thanks to the voluntary gifts 
collected in England, — so thai she could supply her patients 
with what they needed, and could introduce into all the estab- 
lishments she visited a degree ofc fori that yielded friiit in the 

speedy improvement of the sick. Unfortunately it was not so 
with the voluntary offerings collected in France. Instead of 
being distributed by a special and independent committee, they 
were given to the government, and thus combined and mixed up 
with the governmental supplies. This result was doubly unfor- 
tunate, for the sick were not only deprived of the additional re- 
lief which would have been so useful, but the donors, not knowing 
how their money was expended, were discouraged, and ceased to 
aid our valiant army. 

■• In the midst of these difficulties of all kinds," continues Dr. 
de Yaleourt, "occasioned by a war so protracted and eight hun- 
dred leagues from the mother country, the government did all 
that it was possible to do. 1 Even to furnish the necessaries for 
an army of 150,000 men, so far from the place of production, was 
a very heavy task. Our soldiers accomplished prodigies of hero- 
ism and courage. <>nr physicians pushed devotion and self- 
sacrifice so far that, refusing all repose, contagion made frightful 
ravage among them; — those who were attached to the ambu- 
lances and hospitals lost one-fourth of their effective force. That 
which was wanting in our armies was a Volunteer Corps, capable 
and well instructed, who, aided by gifts from the whole people, 
could have been present with their assistance and relief when' the 
eubrts of the government and of the medical corps were found 
insufficient ; — to supply, in a word, unforeseen necessities, and to 
give to our sick soldiers that help which the government, as such, 
could not accord to them." 

The Russians suffered more than either English or French. 
The medical service was lamentably inadequate to the demand 
upon it. The ladies of St. Petersburg and other cities were not 

1 A Paris correspondent of TheNem York Tribune, writing under date of June 
29, l s "'>. Bays that during tin- last year of the Crimean war. "Prem hospital 

directors asked and largely reeeived hospital stores from the English." 


wanting in patriotic devotion to their countrymen in the army. 
They provided and forwarded such supplies as they were able. 
The grand-duchess Helena Paulowna did a noble work in aid of 
the hospital arrangement, and also put herself at the head of a 
band of three hundred female nurses. But there was inefficiency 
and mismanagement everywhere, and there were the inevitable 
results of aggravated disease and mortality. It is said that the 
Czar, Alexander II, moved by the severe suffering of his troops, 
was thereby determined, " probably more than by any other con- 
sideration," promptly to conclude peace. 1 

In the Franco-Italian campaign against Austria, the battle of 
Solferino was fought on the 24th of June, 1859, theaHied French 
and Sardinian troops being victorious. It was one of the most 
terrible and bloody conflicts of the present century. More than 
three hundred thousand men were engaged, beginning at early 
dawn, for full fifteen hours, in deadly strife. Many of them: 
were wearied out by previous marching, and there was neither 
time nor opportunity to take either rest or food. The heat was 
excessive, and the suffering of the wounded, and indeed of all, 
both during the battle and subsequently, it is impossible to de- 
scribe. The killed and wounded in both armies were reckoned 
as including 3 field-marshals, 9 generals, 1,566 officers of all 
grades (630 Austrians and 936 of the allies), and about 40,000 
soldiers or under officers. To these must be added not less than 
40,000 more, who were lost during the following two months, 
from diseases brought on by the excessive fatigues and exposures 
of the battle. Thus, from the casualties of that one day, the 
killed and disabled were more than 80,500 men, or nearly 27 per 
cent, of the whole force engaged. 

Among the witnesses of the conflict was Mr. J. Henry 

1 La Commission Sanitaire des Etats- Unis. By Dr. T. W. Evans. Paris, 1865. 
See Preface, pp. iii, iv. See also Souvenir de Solferino, page 155 : La Charite Inter- 
nationale, page 7. Thanks are due to Dr. Evans for his works upon the United 
States Sanitary Commission, kindly forwarded through the thoughtful suggestion 
of Rev. Dr. Burlingham, of New York. Dr. Burlingham's attention and courtesy 
were similarly manifested many times while abroad. 


Dunant, of Geneva, Switzerland. He was deeply affected by 
the intense suffering of the survivors of the battle, and was con- 
vinecd that much of it might have been relieved, and many of 
the victims saved, by timely and organized assistance. For 
several days he was actively engaged in ministering to the 
wounded and sick, especially at the hospitals established in Cas- 
tio-lione, where his efforts were nobly seconded by the men and 
women of the place, and by tourists and others who were pres- 
ent. In November, 1863, Mr. Dunant published the narrative 
of his personal experience at Solferino. Under the title Un 
Souvenir <l<- Solferino, 1 he gives a vivid picture of the battle, and 
of the horrors subsequent to the deadly strife. He was moved 
to this publication by a consideration of the painful inadequacy 
of all means of succor for the wounded and dying of that bloody 
field. He urged, as a provision against the future, the formation, 
in each country of Europe, of a permanent society for the relief 
of the wounded, acting in the interest of its own country, but in 
a spirit of universal humanity. 

The Souvenir de Solferino excited great attention in Europe. 
Several editions were published in French and German, and it 
was early translated into the other European languages. The 
Geneva Society of Public Usefulness, encouraged by the general 
desire for some organized method of alleviating the miseries of 
war, constituted from their body a permanent commission of five 
members, for the purpose of securing a formal expression of 
European public sentiment in the matter. The commander-in- 
chief of the Swiss Federal army, Gen. Dufour, was made presi- 
dent, and Mr. Dunant, secretary. A conference was held in 
Geneva in < >ctober, 1863, at which thirty-six delegates were pre- 
sent by invitation, some of them from corporate bodies and asso- 
ciations, and eighteen of them being official representatives of 
fourteen governments, — including those of Greai Britain, France, 
Spain, Austria, Prussia, Italy, Russia, and Sweden. A code of 
international enactments, proposed by the Geneva Committee, was 

1 For forwarding this, with other valuable documents, as also for many other 
acts of kindness, thanks are due I" Rev, Th Monod, of Paris. 


discussed by the conference, and recommended to the several 
governments for adoption. A correspondence was at once opened 
by the Central Geneva Committee (now re-named ComitS Inter- 
nationale dt SScours aux MUitaires BlessSs) with most of the 
cabinets of Europe, for the purpose of ascertaining to what de- 
gree they were willing to adopt the recommendations proposed. 
Fifteen states signified their willingness to accept the propositions 
as part of an international code. In June, 1864, upon solicita- 
tion of the Committee, the Swiss Federal Council issued an invi- 
tation to all civilized powers to take part in a general congress 
at Geneva, in August, to consider this special question of secur- 
ing, by international enactments, neutrality in time of war for 
hospitals, ambulances, surgeons, and all persons legitimately 
engaged in earing for the sick and wounded. This measure was 
heartily seconded by the French government. The congress, 
constituted by the representatives of sixteen states, assembled at 
the City Hall, in Geneva, on the 8th of August, and remained 
in consultation until the 22d. The propositions of the former 
conference were, in substance, introduced, discussed, and adopted. 
The assent of twelve nations was secured at the time, and a 
treaty covering the points in question was signed by their repre- 
sentative-. 1 Subsequently all the chief civilized powers of the 
world gave in their accession to the treaty, except Austria, 
Turkey, and the United States. The government of this country 
was in full sympathy witli the object proposed, but was prevented 
from acting by reason of our national troubles. An auxiliary 
committee has recently been formed here, under the title of The 
American Association for the Relief of the Misery of Battle Fields, 

'The details of this movement are given in the valuable work entitled La 
Ckariii Internationale sur le.9 Champs de £atail!c. already several times quoted. It 
was prepared by Mr. Henry Dnnant, of Geneva, author of the Souvenir of Sof/erino, 
Secretary of the International Convention above referred to, and Secretary of the 
permanent International Association for the relief of disabled soldiers. He must 
be regarded as the originator and principal worker in the enterprise. Mr. Dnnant 
has kindly forwarded a copy of the sixth edition of La Charite Internationale, for 
which he will please aeeept this acknowledgment 


with headquarters in New York. Rev. Henry \V. Bellows, i>. i>., 
is president, and Ghas. L. Brace is secretary. 1 

The following is the treaty referred to, as adopted by the [in- 
ternational Congress at Geneva, and since signed by most of the 
governments of Christendom: — 


For the Amelioration- of the Condition of Wounded 
Soldiers of Armies ix the Field. 

The Sovereigns of the countries following, to wit: Italy. Baden, Belgium, 
Denmark, Holland, Spain, Portugal, Prance, Prussia, Saxony, Wurtemberg, 
and the Federal Council of Switzerland, animated with a common desire 
of mitigating, as far as in their power, the evils inseparable from war. of 
suppressing needless severities, and of ameliorating the condition of soldiers 

wounded on the Held of battle, have determined to conclude a treaty for 
this purpose; and. having named plenipotentiaries to sign such :i conven 

tion, these plenipotentiaries, after the due interchange of their powers, 
found to be in good and proper form, have agreed upon the following 
articles, to wit : — 

Art. 1. Ambulances 2 and military hospitals shall be regarded as neutral, 
and as such protected and respected bj the belligerents as long asthey shall 

he occupied by sick or wounded. Neutrality shall cease if the ambulance 

or hospital shall he guarded by a military force. 
Art. 2. The personnel of the hospitals and ambulances, — comprising tie 

medical staff, the sanitary, administrative, and transport service, and the 

chaplains, shall participate in the benefit of the neutrality as long as it shall 

he in operation, and as long as there shall he any wounded to relieve or 

Art. '.',. The persons designated in the preceding article may. even after 
the occupation by the enemy, continue to fulfill their duties in the hospital 
or ambulance to which they are attached, or they may withdraw to rejoin 

tl ps to which they belong. Under these circumstances, when these 

persons shall cease their duties they shall be sent hack to the enemy's out- 
posts, under care of the occupying army. 

\i;r. I. The materiel of the military hospitals remaining subject to the 
laws of war, the persons attached to these hospitals may carry away, upon 

1 See the circular of the United States Committee, is ued fi >m Nev S irl mis.',!',, 

aing the Constitiiti Treaty, etc., of the International Society, ■■■ 

■ i the movement 
■ See note at page 50. 


withdrawing, only that which is their own personal property. In the same 
circumstances, on the contrary, the ambulances shall preserve its unit,' rid 

Art. 5. The inhabitants of the country who shall bring aid to the 
wounded shall be respected and shall remain undisturbed. The generals 
of the belligerent powers shall inform the inhabitants of the appeal made 
to their humanity and of the neutrality accorded them. Every wounded 
soldier cared for in any house shall be a protection to that house. The 
person who shall have received any of the wounded into his house shall be 
excused from lodging troops, as well as from a part of the contributions of 
war which shall be levied. 

Art. 6. Wounded and sick soldiers shall be gathered and cared for, — to 
whatever nation they may belong. The commanders-in-chief shall have 
power to send back immediately to the enemy's outposts any of his soldiers 
wounded during the combat, — when circumstances permit it and both 
parties give their consent. Those soldiers shall be sent back to their own 
country who, after recovery, shall be considered incapable of service. The 
others may likewise be sent back, on condition of not taking up arms again 
during the continuance of the war. In the abandonment of hospitals, the 
patients and those who have charge of them shall be protected by an abso- 
lute neutrality. 

Art. 7. A distinctive and uniform standard (flag) shall be adopted for 
hospitals and ambulances. It ought in every case to be accompanied by a 
national standard. An arm-badge shall be worn by the neutral persons, 
lint the delivery of it to them shall be left with the military authority. The 
standard and the arm-badge shall bear a red cross upon a white ground. 

Art, 8. The details of the execution of the present convention shall lie 
regulated by the commanders-in-chief of the belligerent armies, according 
to the instructions of their respective governments, and conformably to the 
general principles set forth in this convention. 

Art. 9. Tin 1 high contracting parties have agreed to communicate this 
present convention to the governments which have not been able to send 
ambassadors to the International Conference of Geneva, inviting them to 
accede to it. For this purpose the protocol is left open. 

Art, 10. The present convention shall be ratified, and ratifications shall 
be exchanged, at Berne, within four months, or sooner if possible. As a 
pledge of this, the respective ambassadors have signed it, and have appended 
the signet of their amis. 

Done at Geneva, the 24th day of August, 1864. 

During the Schleswig-Holstein war, in the early part of 1864 3 
considerable religions work was done among the soldiers. This 


feature of philanthropic and Christian activity, if not wholly new 
in European armies, was unusually prominent. The Inner Mis- 
sion, as directed by Rev. Dr. Wichern, of Berlin, and others, had 

their laborers in the field.' The Herman Baptists of Hamburg, 
whose rise and growth and zealous propagation of the gospel 
during the past thirty years form one of the most remarkable 
chapters in modern religious history, were also prompt in sending 
colporteurs among the soldiers. One or two brief extracts from 
the very interesting narratives of these last-mentioned workers 
will show the spirit and method of their operations. They are 
given in the Missionsblatt, a missionary paper, published monthly 
in Hamburg, by Rev. Dr. J. G. Oneken, and appeared during 
the first half of 1864." In an editorial article dated March, 1804, 
the following summary is presented: "Of our mission, ten 
brethren, since the first entrance of the troops, have been active 
among them, assisted by a great number of volunteers and by the 
prayers of all the brethren and sisters. Our laborers were -cut 
to various points, even outside the limits of Holstein, where 
troops were collected or on the march, and they labored among 
more than a hundred thousand soldiers, — German, Hungarian, 
Italian, Polish, and Danish. The joyous result of this missionary 
work is the distribution of 400,000 tracts, ' Messengers of Peace,' 
and Gospels, and the sale 5 of nearly 0000 Testaments in different 

languages. The brethren themselves, as well as their 1 ks, almost 

without exception, have found a favorable reception from officers 
and men. The former many times assisted the brethren in their 

1 Rev. Dr. Philip Schaff called attention to this fact. It is proper t" remark 
that Dr. Schaff, by his Lectures on the Christian Life of America during tlte Civil 
War (Der Burgerkrieg und das Christliche Leben in Nbrd Vmerika), repeatedly 
delivered in Germany during his visit there in 1865, ami afterward public 
Berlin,] ble ervice for hi idopted country. He sketches the 

ons of the leading C missions and Societies, and shows how the p 

and Christian sentiment of the country sustained the nation and preserved the 

- Thanks are due to Rev. Dr. J. <'•- Warren, Corresponding Secretary of the 
American Baj -nary Union, for do- w-r of these period 

3 The Testaments « ire uniformly raid, — for about a cent and a half; 
books and the tracts were given away. 


work, ordering the under-officers to help distribute, or to let the 
men form in a ring so as to make the distribution easier." Under 
date of February 11th, Mr. C. Peters writes from Mielburg, "In 
the eight weeks that the Danes lay about here it was a joyful 
time for us. Very many tracts were distributed among the 
soldiers. Brother Repsdorf, colporteur from Copenhagen, was 
here with Danish Bibles and Testaments. Every evening he 
preached in Danish. We found an eager appetite for religious 
books, especially for Testaments, but we could not satisfy the 
hunger until our supply Mas renewed. From Copenhagen 
Brother Forster sent us a large quantity of Danish tracts, and 
from Hamburg we received about 1,400 Testaments. So our 
work went on. On Sunday, January 30th, many brethren and 
sisters were sent off with Testaments and tracts. Each brother 
took with him from 50 to 70 Testaments, and after a few hours' 
work in the surrounding villages returned for more." Two 
colporteurs, Messrs. Windolf and Peterson, in a journal of 'the 
labors of several days, close their account thus: — "In these 
eighteen days the dear Lord has eared for us, soul and body. 
He has prepared the way for us, and has heard the prayers of his 
people in our behalf. He enabled us to distribute 9,900 Gospels. 
more than 10,000 tracts and 'Messengers of Peace,' and 241 
Testaments. May the Lord now also hear the prayers, that 
many may be converted." These humble, earnest men seem to 
have labored faithfully, in the hospitals and camps, and on the 
battle-fields, wherever the military authorities would permit, 
among Austrians, Prussians, Danes, Italians, and Russians, min- 
istering incidentally to bodily wants, lint mainly to their religious 
needs, by books, papers, conversation, and religious services. But 
this must suffice. 

The foregoing historical sketch, imperfect and inadequate as 
it manifestly is, will yet do something toward showing more 
clearly the peculiar character and circumstances of our war. The 
war was accepted, but not begun, by the people, for the mainte- 
nance of their own national existence and authority. Forced upon 


them, and thus made unavoidable, they determined to secure 
every amelioration possible, that at least the moral life of the 
nation might not be lost in the struggle. The experiences and 
methods and mistakes of previous wars were before us mi the 
pages of history, and there was the purpose to use them for the 
advantage of those of our fellow-citizens who for the time being 
had become soldiers. The governmental provision for the army 
was in advance of anything before known, not only in the 
adequacy of supply, but also in the facility of distribution and 
the adaptation to current wants. The popular extra-govern- 
mental provision, small of course when compared with the mil- 
lions expended by the government, was unparalleled for its 
abundance and for the energy and organization of its administra- 
tion, while its moral value to the army and the nation was beyond 
all reckoning. An officer of the British army, in a communica- 
tion published in the Edinburgh Medical Jownal for January, 1865, 
states: — "The sick and wounded soldiers of no other service 
have been so well cared for in regard to their creature comforts 
as the Federal. What with the Sanitary, Christian, and State 
Commissioners, acting independently of the purveying Depart- 
ments, tin' requirements of the army hospitals have been well 
supplied. These Commissioners act as adjuvants to the Medical 
Department; not professing to control or interfere in any way 
with the arrangements thereof, but only assisting in ameliorating 
the distress of the sick and wounded." 1 

The systematic, continued, and efficient religious work among 
the soldiers was as novel as it was valuable. The high religious 
character of the army, and the diffusion of a common Christian 
sympathy among all classes at home as well as in the camp, 
which was one of the immediate results of this work, preserved 
alike our soldiers and our citizens from tin 1 degradation usually 
regarded as the inevitable consequence of civil war. It was 
generally felt, especially during the last two years of the war, 
that the Christian character of a young man was as safe in the 
army as in any place out of it. The testimony of Mr. William 

' Quoted in Medical f{ewa and Library , Philadelphia, March, 1865, page U. 


Swinton, whose opportunities of observation and qualifications 
for judging will not be questioned, should be cited upon this 
point: — "That there was abundant badness in the army is 
indubitable, for where men abound sin will abound too. But it- 
is not too much to say that the world never saw so moral an army 
as the mighty host enlisted in the cause of the Union ; never 
such an assemblage of men arrayed for war witli so little of those 
vices that are the canker-worm of armies, — drunkenness, pro- 
fanity, and uncleanness. And there were, besides, a sufficient 
number of men of such deep religious character that they became 
a sweet savor in the army, and were felt as a positive power." ' 

It was the character of the contest and of our armies that made 
the Christian sympathy of the people so natural, spontaneous, 
and beneficent. Such popular exhibitions of patriotic and reli- 
gious feeling are inconceivable where the army is simply an 
instrument of oligarchic power, and war is for royal ends alone, — 
removed from the knowledge and interests of the people. Hon. 
Geo. Bancroft, in a private letter, remarks: — "Nothing like the 
self-organized commissions for the relief of our armies ever was 
before. The Christian ( lommission is the fruit of our institu- 
tions, — coxdd not grow up, would not be allowed to grow up in 
any nation in Europe, unless it be in England, and could not there 
in the huge, free, popular way that we have witnessed here. 
Republicanism proves herself the friend of charity and of reli- 
gion, and may the union endure forever. Go on, and write 
your noble work; — every word of it will be the eulogy of free 

Numerous testimony could be given, if it were needed, and 
that from the most competent witnesses, to the fact that the wort 
of the Christian Commission was novel and unique among all 
the philanthropic and religious movements of history. To the 
statement of Mr. Bancroft may be added that of Rev. Dr. Henry 
B. Smith, of New York, one of the first living authorities in the 
department of ecclesiastical history. Also in a personal note to 
the writer, he says, "The work of the U. S. Christian Commis- 

1 Hours at Home for February, 1866. 


sion, in my view, stands oul alone in the records of civilization 
and Christianity, for its wise and far-reaching benevolence. 
.Mure thoroughly than any other institution it has carried the 
spirit and principle of Christianity to the battle-field. I hope 
that some person familiar with all the facts will give the world a 
permanent record of its method and achievements. It is a new 
chapter in Church History." 



Christian Commission. 



The relation of piety to patriotism is vital, as is 
abundantly illustrated in history. This fact cannot be 
overlooked, without leading to a serious misapprehension 
of the lessons of history and the changes of human 
society. "It is a scathing comment on the influence 
of skepticism upon a people, that, in general, the highest 
feeling of nationality is coexistent with the devoutest 
piety. 1 1 is the very nature of infidelity to deaden the 
emotions of patriotism, and that country can hardly 
expect to prove successful which engages in war while 
its citizens are imbued with religious doubt." 1 

The recent civil war in the United States was preceded 
and attended by great religions prosperity. The nation 
was thus providentially supplied with the moral earnest- 
ness and power needed for the terrible conflict. 

1 Hurst's History 0/ Rationalism, page '22'2; sue also pages 82, B3. 



The years 1857-'8 witnessed a religious awakening 
of unparalleled extent and power throughout the United 
states. In the light of subsequent events that period 
becomes invested with new significance. It was the 
preparation of the nation and the church for the hour 
of trial. The awakening had its most striking outward 
manifestation in the daily prayer-meetings, first estab- 
lished in New York City, in the autumn of 1857. It 
was during the terrible financial disorder which reached 
its crisis on the 14th of October, in an overwhelming 
panic that prostrated the whole monetary system of the 
country, virtually in one hour. Those who were in- 
volved in it can never forget the intensity of the struggle. 
There was a universal agony of anxiety, as all. eyes 
watched the financial fluctuations of the great commer- 
cial metropolis, as men might watch a rising deluge, and 
the catastrophe brought with the ruin an unutterable 
sense of relief. From the centre of the disaster there 
came forth a most gracious healing. Before the panic 
occurred, " while the conflict for life was yet intense, an 
humble Christian, unheard of in Wall street, had been 
prompted to do something for the relief of the distressed 
merchants of the city. He was a down-town missionary, 
sustained by the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church in 
William street, to explore the surrounding field, visit 
the sick and poor, and bring in the inhabitants and 
strangers to the house of God. While walking down 
town one day, he conceived the thought that an hour of 
prayer could be profitably emjdoyed by the business 
men, — no one being required to remain the whole hour, 
but each coming in and going out at his convenience. 
He mentioned the idea to one or two persons ; no one 


thought much of it; he resolved, however, to carry it 

out. The appointed time came ; three persons met in a 
little room on the third floor, in the consistory building 
in the rear of the church, and prayer was there offered. 
Mr. Lanphier 1 (the missionary) presided, and one clergy- 
man was present. The next meeting was composed of 
six persons; the next of twenty. The next meeting was 
held in the middle room on the second floor, and now 
on every Wednesday noon the Business Men's Prayer- 
Meeting attracted increasing numbers. Its striking lit- 
aess and evident usefulness were noticed in the news- 
pa [kts, secular and religious, and the suggestion was 
earnestly made that it should be opened every day. 
instead of weekly. This was promptly done, and the 
meeting overflowed and filled a second, and eventually 

'This first meeting was held on Wednesday, September 23d, 1857. Mr. 
Lanphier had been a merchant. He understood the needs of the class he sought 
t<> help, and knew that the hour of noon was one of comparative leisure for all 
business men and their assistants. In a private note dated October 5th, 18G0, 
Mr. Lanphier writes, "I consulted with no person and no person consulted 
with me about that meeting until I bad determined to establish it ; when I 
applied for and obtained permission to use the room for that purpose. I then 
appointed the time for holding the first meeting, and immediately after com- 
menced giving notice of it, by cards and letters and handbills, and made per- 
gonal applications to Christians to attend it. I found little or no encouragemi nt 
from any of them, and, during the time which elapsed between my determina- 
tion to establish it anil the time of the first meeting, nothing occurred to give 
lie the hast hope of Christian sympathy or support. But my firm reliance 
and trust were in God, feeling in my inmost soul that my purpose was, in this 
humble way of prayer, to honor Ilini and become the instrument of His ble 
ing to the souls of men. I had been accustomed to be in that room for prayer 
ibe day on which the first meeting was appointed to be held, and some- 
times one or two, and once three, were there with me. Hut on that day, not- 
withstanding the great pains I had taken to make it public, I was there alone 
with Jesus for half an hour after the time appointed, before any person i ntei ed 
the room. In the last half hour five other persons came in. What has followed 
is matter of history, known to many." 


a third room in the same building; — making three 
crowded prayer-meetings, one above another, in animated 
progress at one and the same hour. The seats were all 
filled, and the passages and entrances began to be choked 
with numbers, rendering it scarcely possible to pass in 
or out. The hundreds who daily went away, disap- 
pointed of admission, created a visible demand for more 
room, and the John Street Methodist Church and lecture- 
room were both opened for daily noon prayer-meetings, 
by a committee of the Young Men's Christian Associa- 
tion, and were crowded at once with attendants. Meet- 
ings were multiplied in other parts of the city, and the 
example spread to Philadelphia, to Boston, and to other 
cities, until scarcely a town of importance in the United 
States, save a few in the South, was without the Business 
Men's Daily Prayer Meeting." 1 

The public interest in religion was unprecedented. 
The entire nation seemed to be the scene of one vast 
revival. The secular papers were filled with reports of 
the meetings. The telegraph was daily used by the 
various assemblies to communicate intelligence and inter- 
change salutations. Business letters were vehicles of 
religious news and religious exhortations. All denomi- 
nations were at work, and all classes of people were 
interested. The legislators at the capital, the mechanics 
in their shops, the firemen in their engine 1 muses, the 
waiters in the restaurants, had their daily seasons of 
associated prayer. One man testified that by " adding 
his personal observations to those of a friend, he could 
say, that from Omaha City, Nebraska, to Washington 

1 Narratives of Conversions and Revival Incidents. By William C. Conant. 
Published in 1S58. See page 357, etc. 


City, there was a Une of prayer-meetings along the whole 
length of the road; so that wherever the Christian 
traveller stopped to spend the evening, he could find a 
crowded prayer-meeting, across the entire breadth of 
our vast repuhlic."' The number of cities and villages 
in which the great awakening was in simultaneous pro- 
gress was not less than two thousand, by actual count? 
The accessions to the churches at that time it is impos- 
sible to tell, for no record was attempted. In the city 
of New York alone the additions were estimated at two 
thousand per month, for the first three months of 1858. 3 

Tins wide-spread religious activity, with more 
of fluctuation in different sections of the country, con- 
tinued until the outbreak of the rebellion. There were 
numerous revivals and many conversions in the years 
1851) and 18(10. Some of the daily meeting.- were 
maintained entirely through the war, and are still in 
operation. It is hence impossible not to recognize the 
immediate and immense influence of the prevalent and 
zealous Christian life in the nation upon the shaping of 
the events which preceded the war, as well as upon the 
character of the troops sent to the Held, and the volun- 
tary agencies organized for the temporal and spiritual 
welfare of the army. We should not otherwise have 
been ready for the conflict. It will be found also that 
the wonderful religious interest which pervaded the 
army during the whole of the war was the c mtinuance 
of the previous revival, and was sustained by the elevated 
feeling ami apt instrumentalities which that revival had 
produced. 4 

1 Narratives, etc, p. 374. - Ibid., i>. 415. * Ibid., it 7. 

1 See Christ in the Army, p. 17. 


It seems desirable to notice, with such brevity as may 
be compatible with clearness, those preliminary move- 
ments of individual and associated benevolence for the 
bodily comfort and spiritual care of the soldiers, which 
showed the necessity and prepared the way for the 
organization of the United States Christian Commission. 
This is the more appropriate because the Commission, 
taking the field a little later than some other agencies, 
did a service peculiar to itself, filling a place wholly 
unoccupied, and becoming complementary to existing 
instrumentalities, whether governmental or voluntary. 

President Lincoln was inaugurated March 4, 1861. 
Fort Sumter was bombarded April 13 and 14. The 
proclamation of the President, calling forth "the militia 
of the several States of the Union to the aggregate 
number of 75,000," and convening both houses of 
Congress in extra session, was issued April 15. The 
people were ready for the call, and immediately, around 
the entire circle of the loyal States, the response was 
hearty and full. Who that saw it can ever forget the 
blaze of enthusiasm which shot up over all the land, 
the eagerness with which men offered themselves, and 
the disappointment of those who could not be accepted ? 
On the evening of the last day named, April 15, the 
Massachusetts troops began to assemble in Boston, and 
earlv on the day following the four regiments called out 
in that State " were on Boston Common, mustered in 
regular order, with banners flying and bayonets gleam- 
ing, and each company with full ranks." 1 

Popular attention to the physical and religious wants 

1 Lossing's Pictorial History of the Civil War, Vol. I, p. 401. 


of the volunteers was as prompt as was their response 
to the President's call. The first men to reach Wash- 
ington were from Pennsylvania. They composed five 
companies from the interior of the State, — Pottsville, 
Reading, Lewistown, and Allentown. They had not 
yet heen organized into a regiment, and were without 
arms. They arrived in Washington, by way of Harris- 
burg and Baltimore, on the evening of April IN, and 
were quartered in the Capitol. They found an eager 
expectation and a most enthusiastic reception. They 
were visited and supplied with religious reading by Mr. 
William Ballantyne, bookseller, and his associates of 
the Washington Young Men's Christian Association. 1 

On the afternoon of the day preceding the arrival at 
Washington of the above Pennsylvania troops, — April 
17, — the Sixth Regiment of Massachusetts Volun- 
teers, — Colonel Jones, of Lowell, — left Boston for the 
same city, by way of New York, Philadelphia, and 
Baltimore. They were visited in New York by Mr. 
Vincent Colyer, who found them supplied with Testa- 
ments. 2 

1 Mr. Ballantyne, in referring to tliis first religious work among these 
first troops in Washington, writes : — "Time hung heavy on their hands, and 
they hail nothing to read. We took all the tracts we had in stock, and used 
them up. Saving a large number of tie- Family Christian Almanac ofa former 
year on hand, 1 had the young men in the store cut out the calendar part, and 
stitch a brown paper cover over the reading portion, which made an i icellenl 
tract, and so distribute them. The men were also supplied with Testaments, 
and the Rev. J. G. Butler, pastor of the English Lutheran Church, preached 
O' them." Mr. Ballantj ne, thus early in the field, remained an efficient worker 
through the war. (See further al pp. 296 '8.) 

'' Mr. Colyer, whose name occupies a conspicuous place in these earl) move- 
ments, ami who has kindly forwarded a full and interesting record of his labors, 
writes : " My first visit in the Boldiers was to the Sixth Massachusetts Volun- 
teei . "ii tin- morning of the 18th of April, 1861, while they were halting tin- 


On the day following, Friday, April 19, these Massa- 
chusetts troops were attacked in the streets of Balti- 
more; three men were killed outright, and one mortally 
wounded. The regiment reached Washington that 
evening, many of them having lost their baggage, 
in which were their Testaments. On this becoming 
known to Mr. Ballantyne, on the following Sabbath, the 
want was at once supplied. Similar labors were per- 
formed for the various bodies of troops as they succes- 
sively arrrived in "Washington, and took up their 
encampments in and around the city. 

"The women of Bridgeport, Connnecticut, met. to- 
gether to roll bandages and prejiare lint as early as the 
loth of April, 1801." 1 On the afternoon of the same 
day " Miss Almena B. Bates, of Charlestown, Massa- 
chusetts, read the President's call for men, and the idea 
at once occurred to her that some of the men must go 
from Charlestown, and that they would need aid and 
comfort from home." A paper was soon drawn up, 
after conference with others, " proposing the formation 
of a relief society, and setting forth its objects. This 
paper was signed by a large number of ladies on the 
19th of April, the day of the attack upon the Massa- 
chusetts troops in Baltimore. A constitution was read 
and adopted, and a board of officers for the year was 
chosen on -the l22d." - 

breakfast in New York City, at tlie Metropolitan and St Nicholas Hotels, on 
their way to the defense of Washington. I found them will supplied with 
Testaments, etc., — given to them by the ladies of Concord, Massachusetts." This 
supply of Testaments at Concord is the earliest known public religious minis- 
tration to the soldiers after the outbreak of the war. The work thus fittingly 
began witli the Christian women of America, and was sustained to the end 
largely by the constancy of their devotion and zeal. 

1 Goodrich's Tribute Book, p. 112. 2 Ibid., p. 112. 


The "first subscription list to which the rebellion 
gave birth" was in New York City, April 17, beaded 
by Moses II. Grinnell, consisting in all of thirty-one 
names, for one hundred dollars each, for the benefit of 
the Seventh New York Regiment. 1 

The first public subscription strictly for the 'personal 
relief of the soldiers was of one hundred dollars, made 
by Judge X. Crosby, of Lowell, Massachusetts, on the 
morning of April 18. The letter which enclosed the 
gift is of historical importance, and worthy of preserva- 
tion here: — 

Lowell, April 18, 1861. 
Mr. Mayor: — Southern treason ha.-; at last culminated in seizing 
Fort Sumter, and we have no choice left us but to meet the traitors 
wherever they may present themselves. Rumor has become fact. 
Our men have been called and have left us. More will undoubtedly 
soon follow. They have left us at the tap of the drum, without 
wavering and without preparation. They have left homes without 
shutting their doors, friends without adieus, and their hammers upon 
their benches. We must comfort those friends and prevent loss in 
their business. We who stay at home can well afford to do all this 
for them, and make our sacrifices in money, and thus care for our 
country, our constitution, and laws. The burden of this struggle 
must rot upon every man's shoulders in some form. I am willing 
i' i meet my full share of it. Let us have a large committee of men 
and women, t<> he called the "Nightingale Band," who shall gather 
and distribute funds to the families of soldiers who need, and furnish 
pa\ ma -tcis of our regiments with money and such supplies for the 
sick and wounded in camp as rations and medicine-chests cannot 
bestow. As some of our men may at once need such funds in camp, — 
a new exposure and life to them, — please accept my first contribu- 
tion ( sino i, and semi it to Lieutenant Plaisted, paymaster of Colonel 
Jones' regiment, 1 for the last-named purpose. 

Yours very truly, N. CfiOSBY. 

1 See the list, in Goodrich's Tribute Book, p. 29. '-' The Sixth Massachusetts, 


This letter strengthened and directed the public 
feeling. The City Council added $500 or $600, and 
forwarded it at once to the regiment. A public meeting 
was called on the 19th and held on the 20th, 1 at which 
a Soldiers' Aid Society was formed. This society is 
remarkable, not only for being organized so early and 
proving very efficient, but also for having at the outset 
a well-digested and comprehensive plan. It included 
both sanitary and religious ministrations. The meeting- 
was called on the day named, by the Mayor, " for the 
purpose of initiating measures for the comfort, encour- 
agement, and relief of citizen soldiers." Twenty men 
were present. Judge Crosby, one of the twenty, pre- 
sented the following memorandum of methods by which 
assistance could be rendered : — ■ 

" 1. By gathering such funds and supplies as may be necessary. 

" 2. By supplying nurses for the sick or wounded when and as far 
as practicable. 

"3. By bringing home such sick and wounded soldiers as may be 

"4. By purchasing clothing, provisions, and matters of comfort 
which rations and camp allowances may not provide, and which 
would contribute to the soldier's happiness. 

" 5. By placing in camp such Bibles, books, and papers, as would 
instruct and amuse their days of rest and quiet, and keep them 
informed of passing events. 

" G. By gathering the dates and making a record of the name and 
history of each soldier and his services. 

" 7. By holding constant communication with paymasters or other 
officers of our regiments, that friends may interchange letters and 
packages." 2 

1 A Soldiers' Aid Society was formed in Cleveland, Ohio, April 20. 

2 See the Memorandum in Goodrich's Tribute Bonk, page 71. In a personal 
letter from Judge Crosby, dated October 20, lSGfi, he thus refers to the above 


Philadelphia, lying in the immediate pathway of the 
troops passing from the North to Washington, was no1 
slow in showing her interest in their welfare. The 
subjoined memorandum from Rev. Dr. AV. J. R. Taylor, 
then Pastor of the Third Reformed Dutch Church, 
Philadelphia, now Corresponding Secretary of the 
American Bible Society, records the earliest public 
movement, so far as known, in that city: — 

" ( >ii Sabbath, April 21st, 1861, after sermon, in the conclusion of 
which an appeal was made for our distressed country, I read to 
the congregation the following note, which was sent uie just before 
service : — 

" ' Philadelphia, April 20, 1S61. 

"'Rev. Mr. Taylor:— 

"'Don- Sir: It is understood that a hospital will be forthwith 
opened in this city, for the reception of the sick and wounded of our 
army, and it is proposed that the ladies of the several churches should 
meet early next week, to make arrangements for the preparation of 
bedding, bandages, lint, etc. To perfect such arrangements, and 
secure concert of action, it is requested that in each church one or 
more ladies should be appointed to attend a general meeting, at such 
time and place as shall be made known through the papers. 

subscription and meeting: — "The meeting was the joint efforl of the Mayor 
ami myself, called on the 19th ami held on the 20th of April, by special invita- 
tion. 1 presented the memorandum and made extended remarks, going over 
the whole ground. The meeting was enthusiastic, and resulted in tin- collec- 
tion of abundant funds and gratuitous labors, in furnishing the varied supplies 
for oiillii and Held comforts. 

"If I recollect right, Mr. Goodrich settles the qm lion b) giving the 
SI 00 against me, on the ground that certain gentlemen in the city of New York 
gave each $100 on the 17th. 1 think the distinction is this, — the money sub- 
scribed in New York was to raise and equip men, my subscription was 

f, contemplating just the field occupied liv your society. It' this distinc- 
tion, — this difference in object, — places my $100 first in your judgment, I 
shall not olijeet to the credit. At any rate 1 am content with the great good 
my subscription and efforts at the time accomplished for the soldier, by stirring 
the Community to watch for and relieve his wants." 


"'This work of charity has received the hearty approval of many 
ladies, but was proposed too late for a notice in the evening papers, 
and as the suddenness of the emergency forbids the delay of another 
week, the notice from the pulpit, if not the best, is now the only prac- 
ticable plan. You are therefore respectfully requested to call such a 
meeting of the ladies of your church. 
"'Very respectfully, 

"'Mr.s. Israel Bissell, 

" ' Miss Eliza Austin, 

" ' Mrs. S. Calhotx, 

" ' Per E. M. Harris, 1116 Pine Street.' 

"I shall never forget the impression," continues Dr. Taylor, 
"made upon the audience by the simple reading of this notice. 
Pastor and people burst into tears together. It was absolutely over- 
powering. No blood had yet been shed. After the service some 
even doubted whether there would be any fighting. I was told by 
two or three persons that it was a premature notice, and produced 
needless alarm and anxiety among the people. But it was the first 
foreshadowing in our church of the actual preparation at home for 
the awful carnage that attended the great rebellion. The call was 
cordially responded to by a number of ladies, in our lecture-room, 
the next morning at 11 o'clock. 

"Out of this and similar spontaneous movements among the 
churches of Philadelphia, grew the Ladies 1 Aid Societies of the city, 
— noble heralds and aids of the Christian and Sanitary Commissions. 
These meetings continued for several weeks, until the Ladies' Aid, 1 

1 Probably no local society in the country was quite equal in efficiency and 
fruitfulness to the Philadelphia " Ladies' Aid." Among the first in the field, 
it did not retire until the work was done. Its affairs were managed with great 
wisdom and success. Over £24,000 in cash were raised and expended, besides 
large supplies of stores, — averaging in value over $20,000 each year. But 
above all were the priceless labors of its secretary, Mrs. Dr. John Harris, and 
her associates in the armies East and West. Nothing that woman could do was 
left undone by Mrs. Harris, and much was done by her that few others would 
have thought of or attempted. Her semi-annual reports are among the most 
interesting documents produced by the war. In the early days of the Christian 
Commission the "Ladies' Aid" was of immense service to it in many ways. 


which made its headquarters al Dr. Boardman's church, absorbed 
this and the local church efforts in Its broad charities." 

( )n Monday, April 22, Mr. JefetfTPatterson, of Phila- 
delphia, made his first 1 visit to the army, — probably the 
very first occasion of the war on which any one left his 
home to go abroad in search of soldiers and to min- 
ister to them, Prompted by his own desire, and encour- 
aged in his purpose by a number of friends, he visited 
the troops lying at Havre de Grace, Annapolis, Relay 
House, and Baltimore. He found those at Havre de 
( Irace especially suffering from exposure, and their first 
request was tor a load of straw. "The request was made 
known in Philadelphia at once, and not only the load of 
straw, but blankets, mattrasses, and other necessaries 
were immediately forwarded." The Philadelphia Young 
Men's Christian Association soon after organized an 
Army Committee for local work. 

A Ladies' Relief Society was also organized in ( >range, 
New Jersey, April 22, — the movement being very simi- 
lar to the one already noticed in Philadelphia. It re- 
mained independent and proved itself very efficient. 
throughout the war. It made the first contribution of 
stores received by the Ladies' ( lentral Association of New 
York, — a box being sent to them on the 4th of May. 

The Young .Men's Christian Association of Chicago 
was prompt in recognizing and responding to the neces- 
sities of the hour. Ill their Eighth Annual Report 
(May, L866) they give the following historical facts: — 

1 Mr. Patterson's faithful, valuable, and gratuitous services for the < hristian 
Commission, extending through its entire history, in various responsible rela- 
tions, were frequently acknowledged by the Executive Committee, and endeared 
liiiu to multitudes of soldiers and others. 


"The efforts of the Association in behalf of our soldiers and our 
country, date from the beginning of the war. On Sabbath, the 14th 
of April, 1861, Fort Sumter was surrendered. One week from that 
day, Sabbath, April 21st, the first public meeting was held in Na- 
tional Ball (where President Lincoln was nominated), convened by 
a call of the Association, and presided over by its President, Mr. J. 
V. Farwell. A number of the members of the Association were 
among the first who responded to the call for 75,000 men, and on the 
4th of May the first public presentation of a flag was made by the 
Presidenl of the Association to Captain Barker's Dragoons, 1 and the 
same afternoon a second meeting was held. Upon the occupation 
of Cairo (April 25, 1861 > by our troops, a meeting of clergymen was 
called to provide for sending delegates from their number to preach 
to our troops there, until provision could be made for chaplains. 
Several of our city pastors and laymen were sent, some of them 
following the advance guard of our army into Missouri. It is to be 
regretted that the names 6f all such were not recorded, and cannot 
now be recalled ; but prominent among them were Rev. E. F. Dick- 
inson, and Rev. E. Folsom. During the last of May, Messrs. D. L. 
Moody and B. F. Jacobs, of the 'Committee on Devotional Meet- 
ings,' commenced a series of meetings with the soldiers in camp near 
this city, and from the commencement the interest in these meetings 
was very great. To supply an immediate demand for hymn books, an 
edition of 3,500 was printed from plates of the Sabbath School Union. 
The work enlarging, an Association Army Committee was appointed, 
by adding the names of Mr. J. V. Farwell as Chairman, and Mr. Tut- 
bill King, to the previous committee. The meetings at the camp con- 
tinued to increase in interest until as many as eight or (en were held 
each evening, and hundreds were led to seek Christ." 

On the 25th of April, as the result of previous invita- 
tions, a meeting of fifty or sixty ladies was held in New 

1 "This company was invited to a benelit at a theatre, — the proceeds to he 
donated to the equipment of die company. The offer was very tempting, as 
the expenses, including the purchase of horses, were heavy. But when the 
captain put the vote to the company, not a >iiiL:ie man \oted for the theatre. 
They resolved to have the daily prayer-meeting instead." — Rev. Dr. Robert 
Patterson, in Clirist in (lie Army, p. IS. 


York City, at the "Infirmary for Women," at which a 
Central Relief Association was suggested. Measures 
were taken to secure further information and a larger 
attendance, an address was prepared, and the women of 
New York were asked to assemble in council at the 
Cooper Institute, on the morning of the 29th. "The 
response was ample. No such gathering of women had 
ever been seen in this country. David Dudley Field 
presided, and the object of the meeting was explained 
by Rev. H. W. Bellows, d. b., when the assemblage was 
addressed by Mr. Hamlin, Vice-President of the United 
States, and others. Then a benevolent organization 
was effected, under the title of The Women's Central 
Association for Belief. Auxiliary associations of women 
were formed in all parts of the Free-labor States, and 
when wounds and sickness appealed for relief, a few 
weeks later, a general system for the purpose was so 
well organized, that all demands were at first promptly 
met." 1 This society "contained the germ of what was 
afterwards the U. 8. Sanitary Commission," which was 
organized in June, L861. The first formal request for 
such a Commission was in an address to the Secretary of 
War, dated May IS, — alter two days spent by the peti- 
tioners t Rev. Dr. Bellows, with Drs. W. II. Van Bun n. 
Elisha Harris, and Jacob Harsen, acting as a committee 
from societies in New York) in consultation with the 
military and medical authorities at Washington. Secre- 
tary Cameron's approval was given June 9, and Presi- 
dent Lincoln's June L3. On this latter day tin' plan of 

1 I i Bsing's I . i War, Vol. I. p. 575. See History of tin S 

chapter It; Goodrich's 1 pp. 72-76; .'.' Vol. I. 

document p. 168. 


organization was submitted to the Secretary of War and 
officially endorsed by him. 

Religious labors were begun and religious services 
established in the camps at Cincinnati, Ohio, in April, 
1861. Rev. B. W. Chidlaw 1 was prominent, although 
not alone, in these, — receiving the hearty cooperation 
of the officers in command, and being welcomed by the 
soldiers. The first meeting in Camp Harrison was held 
on Friday evening, April 26, " in front of the quarters 
of Captain Erwin, Co. E, Sixth O. V. I." In Mr. C's 
journal of the period referred to it is noted, " We have 
prayer-meeting at 8 o'clock every night. It is sustained 
by the soldiers, and is exerting a blessed inlluence for 
good." Later, at Camp Dennison under date of May 
27, is this noteworthy record: — "Visited the tents, dis- 
tributing tracts and religious papers, kindly furnished by 
friends. At 3 o'clock p. m. preached to a very large 
audience; some thirty officers were on the platform, and 
my congregation seated on the green sod, — attentive 
hearers of the glorious Gospel. Later in the afternoon 
I found in the barracks of the ' Oberlin Rifles' a Bible 
class of forty members ; about one-half of them had 
the Greek Testament. This company in the Seventh O. 
V. I. is made up of collegiate and theological stud i I 
from Oberlin, — pious and earnest young men." Mr. C. 
further says: — "The Young Men's Bible Society of 
Cincinnati furnished me with Testaments for distribution, 

1 Mr. Chidlaw, during the summer and autumn of 1861; was chaplain of the 
Thirty-ninth Ohio Regiment, and showed by his own example how much a 
faithful chaplain could do, even before the benevolence of the country was 
organized, in ministering to the bodily and spiritual necessities of the soldiers 
He was afterward intimately connected with the work of the Christian Com- 
mission, in the operations of the Cincinnati Branch. 


and employed a colporteur who labored faithfully for 
many months. We needed hymn hooks, and in response 
to my application, the Young Men's Christian Associa- 
tion of New York sent me several thousand copies of 
the 'Soldiers' and Sailors' Hymn Book,' — just what we 
ueeded.and what the soldiers always gladly received and 
carefully preserved. Ministers and laymen from Cincin- 
nati and vicinity, through their influence and by personal 
labor, did much to promote the spiritual improvement 
of our brave men in these camps of instruction." 

In Baltimore, on the 4th of May, 1861, the " Balti- 
more Christian Association" was organized. It was 
designed to meet all the forms of need, bodily and 
spiritual, among the soldiers in camp and hospital, within 
and around the city. The families of soldiers were also 
assisted. Mr. G. S. Griffith was active in the formation of 
this society, and was made its President. The position 
of Baltimore upon the direct route by which the first 
troops reached Washington, and its proximity to the seat 
of war, gave early employment to the Association. Its 
active members soon numbered fifty, and were afterward. 
increased to one hundred. Upon the establishment of a 
Branch of the Christian Commission in Baltimore, the 
"Christian Association" at once became an auxiliary of 
that Branch, but maintained its own organization during 
the war. 

The first troops which reached St. Louis, in May, 
L861, were promptly met ■ by Mr. J. W. Sutherland, 
agen! (,f the American Bible Society, and Mr. J. W. 
Mcliitvre, the well-known bookseller of that city. 
Through these gentlemen supplies of Testaments and 
other religious reading were furnished to the several 


regiments as they arrived. Mr. Mclntyre speedily 
organized the work upon a comprehensive and efficient 
system, and hy circulars addressed to chaplains and 
others arranged for the regular distribution of papers, 
tracts, hymn books, libraries, etc., among the men. This 
was continued until the formation of the St. Louis 
Branch of the Christian Commission. 

Before any formal propositions or organized efforts 
" for giving aid to the sick and wounded were publicly 
made, a woman who for many years, Howard-like, had 
been laboring unceasingly for the poor, the unfortunate, 
and the afflicted, had obtained the sanction of the War 
Department for the organization of military hospitals, 
and the furnishing of nurses for them. That woman 
was Miss Dorothea L. Dix, whose name was familiar to 
the people throughout the land. She offered her services 
gratuitously to the government, and they were accepted. 
So early as the 23d of April, or only eight days after 
the President called for troops to put down the rebellion; 
the Secretary of War issued a proclamation, announcing 
the fact of such acceptance ; and on the 1st of May, the 
Acting Surgeon-General, R. C. Wood, ' cheerfully and 
thankfully recognizing the ability and energy of Miss 
D. L. Dix in her arrangements for the comfort and 
welfare of the sick soldiers in the present exigency,' 
requested all women who offered their services as nurses 
to report to her." 1 

1 Lossing's Ciril War, Vol I, pp. 575, 576. In a private letter, dated June 17, 
1S66, Miss Dix writes: — "I entered Baltimore just as the fury of the mob, on 
the memorable 19th of April, 1861, had spent itself, and was in Washington 
almost on the hour with the Massachusetts Sixth. I was never off duty from 
that date till March, 18G5, although I resigned my official trust the previous 


As has been intimated, the movement throughout the 
country, alike in hastening forward to the defence of the 
threatened capital, and in succoring those who went, was 
so general and so prompt, that it is difficult to particu- 
larize, or to designate what places were absolutely fore- 
most. Some dates and incidents have been given; others 
remain to be stated; but it must be remembered that 
only a few of the great sum have been recorded, and 
that these would doubtless be well-nigh matched by 
many others if all the facts were known. 1 No one then 
thought of the personal distinction of being first in the 
work, or of making a record for himself. Each was 
intent simply on doing at once what seemed demanded 
by the emergency, without further consideration. The 
crisis was too great and too momentous, the solemn and 
majestic uprising of the people was too unanimous and 
determined, and the emotions awakened were too pro- 
found and absorbing to allow the presence of narrow and 
selfish motives. As in all the grander actions of men, 
self-consciousness was lost in the sense of duty and the 
high purpose of immediate action which ruled the hour. 
It was simply the more favorable opportunity, rather 
than a readier disposition, which gave to any one place 
the precedence of achievement for the national cause. 

Moreover, in the evidence already presented the cheer- 
ing fact is manifest that from the beginning the army was 
recognized as a field for evangelical effort. Almost the 
first work done for the soldiers, alike before leaving 

1 Correspondents who have Bent notices of societies that were in early and 
efficient operation, ami ■■!' personal labors among the troops tir-t called out, will 
recognize the impossibility of mentioning every case, ami will accept those that 
aro given i- representative of all, and as indicating tin- forethought, readiness, 
and energy which won- displayed throughout the entire country. 


their homes and after arriving at the seat of war, was a 
strictly religions work. In the first plans for associated 
labors in behalf of the troops their religions necessities 
were distinctly recognized. This was to be expected, 
from the nature of the struggle, the remarkable provi- 
dential preparation which the nation had received, and 
the character and social connections of many of those 
who went into the army. Christian men were the first 
to appreciate the crisis, and the first to offer themselves 
for the nation's defense. The Young Men's Christian 
Associations, in most of the cities and towns of the loyal 
States, had representatives in the earliest regiments. 1 
Those who remained, equal in patriotism and zeal to 
those who had enlisted, naturally thought and cared 
for their brethren and for all. Hence the departing 
regiments were provided with the Scriptures and other 
religions reading ; meetings were established in the home 
camps and places of rendezvous; money, supplies, and 

1 Sec The Philanthropic Results of the War, p. 98. The New York Indepen- 
dent of April 25, 1861, says, "Many of the churches of all denominations are 
sending some of their most active members to the field as volunteers." — 
(Quoted iii Rebellion Record, Vol. I, diary p. 38.) 

At the annual breakfast of the Young Men's Christian Association in Lon- 
don, England, Mr. George H. Stuart, present as a representative from the 
Associations of this country, said, " When the terrible war came upon them 
they felt it in their Associations, especially in their reduced numbers, and many 
of the country Associations were entirely broken up, almost every member 
haying responded to the call of Abraham Lincoln, to go forth and stand by 
the government. Some Associations formed entire companies out of their 
ranks." — The Christian World for May 15, 1866. 

The Young Men's Christian Association of New York, in a letter to the 
London Conference, dated August, 1862, speaking of the effect of the war upon 
the Associations throughout the country, says, "Of some two hundred organi- 
zations, efficiently laboring in the Master's cause three years ago, there are 
scarcely twenty that can now be named as active and prosperous." — Eleventh 
Annual Report, p. 15. 


personal services were given for the relief and comfori 
of the men; after every considerable battle, even from 
the beginning, members of the Associations were de- 
spatched to the sufferers, full handed, to minister to 
their physical and spiritual needs. Such services were 
rendered by the Associations of Washington, Philadel- 
phia, Xcw York, Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, 
and other places. In tracing more fully the character 
and course of some of these labors, it will be seen that 
from these preliminary movements, and as the result of 
an intelligent demand and a fit preparation, the U. S. 
Christian Commission was organized to do a needed and 
momentous work. Never was the guiding hand of God 
more strikingly manifest, and never was his benediction 
more richly bestowed. 

The Young Men's Christian Association of Washing- 
ton City was necessarily first in the field, for their city 
was the field, — the original seat of war. They saw the 
opportunity and obligation of their position, and at once 
entered vigorously upon the fulfillment of them. "Im- 
mediately after the commencement of the arrival of 
troops, and while they were all quartered in the city, it 
was divided into districts, and each district given in 
charge to certain members of the Association, whose duty 
it was to see that the spiritual wants of the soldiers with- 
in their field were met." 1 

.Mr. Vincent Culver, whose visit to the first troops that 
reached New York City, has been already noticed, con- 
tinued, as he says, "to visit the rapidly departing regi- 
ments, then leaving for the seat of war, — more with the 
desire to enlist than to do missionary work, yet gradually 

1 First Annual Seport U. S. Christian Coin p. 91. 


led to minister to trie spiritual and temporal wants of the 
volunteers. I distributed Testaments, hymn bonks, 
trails; opened meetings for prayer, singing, exhortation; 
carried messages to families, made neglected purchases, 
wrote letters, and in every and any way practicable tried 
to be of service to the men." 

( )n May 2, 1861, the managers of the American Bible 
Society adopted the following resolution: — 

" /i'iWiyy/, That a circular be prepared by the secretaries, and 
sent to each agent and auxiliary throughout the country, reminding 
them of the peculiar need of the Word of God, which all persons 
have who are in circumstances of danger and exposed to sudden 
death, and urging them to see that every soldier enlisted within their 
bounds is supplied with a copy of the Scriptures iu whole or in part ; 
and encouraging them, if unable without assistance to attend to this 
important duty, to apply for such assistance to the Parent Society." 1 

The effect of this wise and generous action was salu- 
tary and great. The agents and auxiliaries did good 
service in carrying out the resolution. 

The American Tract Society at Boston visited many 
of the early New England regiments, on their arrival 
in Boston, in April, 1861, and distributed such reading 
matter as they had in stock. Immediate arrangements 
were made for printing such books and periodicals as 
the emergency seemed to demand, and the work was 
vigorously prosecuted throughout the war. The \\ estern 
Agency was active in extending the operations of the 
Society. Their distributions of reading matter were 
mainly effected through their own agencies, although 
much was done through the Christian Commission and 
other associations. In October, 1861, the Senior Seere- 

1 Annual Report tor 1862, p. 30. 


tary of the Society, Rev. ,1. W. Alvord, entered upon 
the persona] superintendence of the work in the Army 
of the Potomac, and remained in the field until the close 
of the war. 

The American Tract Society at New York was equally 
prompt. The first regiments which reached that city 

were visited and supplied with publications. Special 
tracts and hooks were at once prepared. On May S, 
1861, the Society resolved " That it is incumbent upon 
us. at this time, to appropriate, as means shall be fur- 
nished, $10,000; Or whatever shall he necessary, to pro- 
vide such hooks, tracts, and personal agencies as arc 
specially suited to those who have been summoned by 
patriotism and duty to the perils, temptations, and 
sufferings of the camp." These publications reached 
the army and navy through many channels, lint mainly 
through the Society's own agencies, under the direction 

of one of the secretaries. In 1862 and thereafter 
"army missionaries" were employed in the different 
divisions of the field. The sum specified in the original 
resolution was multiplied many fold in the Society's 
expenditures upon the army. 

As showing the tendency of Christian thoughl and 
action at that early day, as manifested in the general 
meetings of the various denominations, mav be noticed 
the national anniversaries of the Baptists beld in 
Brooklyn, New York, May, 1861. On the 29th of that 
month a special meeting of all the delegates present was 
called, witli reference to the state of the country. In 
the report and resolutions presented by Rev. Dr. Win. 
II. Williams, it is stated "That tearful as is the scourge 
of war waged in a good cause and in the fear of 


God it may be to a people, as it often in past times lias 
been, a stern but salutary lesson for enduring good. In 
this struggle the churches of the North should, by 
prayer for them, the distribution of Scripture and tract, 
and the encouragement of devout chaplains, seek the 
religious culture of their brave soldiers and mariners." 1 
The Young Men's Christian Association of New 
York early saw the needs and opportunities of the 
new field of labor, and were not slow in entering it. 

"On the 21st of May, 1861, some members of the new Board of 
Directors held an informal meeting in the study of Rev. Stephen H. 
Tyng, Jr., when the subject of army work for the Association was 
considered and discussed ; and within a day or two thereafter Messrs. 
Vernon (President) and Tyng made the first visit to the soldiers as 
representatives of the Association. They were of the Troy regiment, 
then stationed in Canal street. Immediately thereafter, — (Monday, 
May 27, 1861), — followed our regular meeting, when the situation 
of the volunteers in the camps about the city, their necessities, the 
lack of chaplains and religious instructors, the need of small and 
portable books and tracts adapted to the wants of a soldier's life, 
were fully discussed; and the question was then agitated, What 
should the Association do?" 2 

As the result of the above meeting a plan of opera- 
tions was decided upon, which was at once carried into 
execution. The plan "embraced the publication of a 
collection of familiar hymns, 3 Scri]rture readings, and 

1 See Rebellion Eeeord, Vol. I, document p. 308. 

2 The Work of the Army Committee of the New York Young Men's Christian 
Association, p. 7. Thanks are due to Mr. Cephas Brainerd, author of the Report 
above quoted, for copies of his pamphlet, and for other assistance in collecting 

3 The "Soldiers' Hymn Book "was issued by the New York Army Com- 
mittee on the lffth day of June, 1861, and was probably the first of its kind 
published during the war. 


prayers fitted for the soldier's use; the establishment of 
devotional meetings in the camps of the soldiers in the 
neighborhood, on Sundays and week-day evenings; the 
visitation of all regiments as they passed through the 
city, supplying them with religious reading, and tin- 
holding of religious services, if their stay allowed time 
and opportunity; the organization of a working Chris- 
tian force in every regiment; and the aid and support of 
chaplains. A correspondence with chaplains and others, 
in and out of the army, was devised, as one means of 
accomplishing this result." An Army Committee was 
at once formed. In the prosecution of their Christian 
work by this committee, the barracks and encampments 
" within a radius of thirty miles around the city" were 
visited frequently, and "services were held with as much 
regularity as circumstances would allow." During the 
six months which followed the organization of the com- 
mittee, " more than three hundred religious meetings 
were held, with the happiest results." 

The Young Men's Christian Association of Philadel- 
phia, the members of which had been in various ways 
engaged in work for the soldiers from the outbreak of 
the Rebellion, reorganized their Army Committee on 
the 4th day of July, 1861, with Mr. P. B. Simons as 
chairman. The committee did a large local work, and 
became a valuable auxiliary of the Christian Commission. 

The Young Men's Christian Association in Boston 
emulated the promptness and zeal of similar societies 
elsewhere. From their proximity to the Navy Yard and 
station at Charlestown, they were able to give special 
assistance to the marines and sailors gathered there. A 
daily prayer-meeting was established on board the re- 


ceiving sliij> Ohio in 1859, which has been continued 
ever since. Personal effort and distribution of religious 
reading accompanied these meetings. Large numbers 
were converted, and a religious influence exerted through- 
out the entire navy. 

In the early days of the war, when experience and 
organized assistance were alike wanting, devoted and 
intelligent chaplains, — and there were many such both 
East and West, — contributed not a little to the welfare of 
the troops. 1 Donations of reading-matter, and extra sup- 
plies of clothing and food, for sick and wounded, were 
secured from personal friends or local societies. Also 
in many of the regiments there were at least a few 
Christian men, and these would unite in establishing 
religious meetings and in devising methods for the com- 
fort and welfare of their comrades. Hence even from 
the beginning, before the great national societies came 

1 Rev. Mason Gallagher, of Brooklyn, New York, who was chaplain of the 
Twenty-fourth New York (Oswego County) Regiment from May, 1861, to Janu- 
ary 15, 1862, ami during six months of that time was secretary of the "Chap- 
lains' Association," which met weekly in Washington, communicates some 
reminiscences of the period. Among other things, he says. "Messrs. Colyer, 
Alvorcl, and Goss, I remember as of great assistance in the work of procuring 
tracts ami papers during my term of service. To the former I feel under great 
personal obligations. Our meetings at Washington I remember with great 
interest. All measures relating to the spiritual good of the army were there 
discussed, and I believe much good was done. To Messrs. Ballantyne, Miller, 
and others, of the Young Men's Christian Association of Washington, we were 
under great obligations for interest taken in the chaplains' welfare. A visit of 
Bishop Mcllvaine, and his fervent address at one of our meetings, will long be 
remembered. Let me here say, that having been brought largely into connec- 
tion with the chaplains of the Army of the Potomac, from my position as secre- 
tary of the Association, I can testify to the high order of men who engaged in 
that sacred service. There was occasionally a black sheep introduced, but 
they were gradually removed. The chaplains stood in great lie. d ofsympatlry 
and support in the early period of the war, for everything was in a chaotic 
state, and their condition was peculiarly unpleasant." 


into operation, the smaller extemporized agencies at 
home and in the army did much for the relief ami assist- 
ance of the soldiers. There was doubtless much neglect 
and much suffering, for these could only be met by ex- 
perience ami organization, but they were less than they 
would have been without the extra popular help so 
heartily proffered on every side: and the great national 
societies themselves were little more than the combina- 
tion, enlargement, and improvement of methods that 
started into spontaneous activity throughout the country 
with the first movements of the war. 

The battle of Bull Run was fought on Sunday, 1 July 
21, 1801, with what results the world knows. It was 
the first considerable engagement of the war, and occa- 
sioned great excitement throughout the country. There 
was a sudden and severe check to the eager expectations 
of the people; but the sufferers were not forgotten. 
Volunteer relief was at once added to the provisions of 
government. Mrs. Dr. Harris, in behalf of the Phila- 
delphia Ladies' Aid, and Mr. Colyer, accompanied by 
Mr. F. W. Ballard, in behalf of the New York Young- 
Men's Christian Association, were among those who 
forthwith repaired to Washington, and were successful 
in contributing greatly to the comfort of the wounded. 
As reproducing and commemorating those early scenes, 
and as illustrating what was even then effected by popu- 

1 That our first battle should be fought on the Sabbath, when it was in the 
■ f our commanders to choose otherwise, caused great grief and indigna- 
tion among tin- Christian people of the nation. By many persons the disaster 
to our troops was regarded as a judgment upon the profanation of the day. The 
di ion ami remonstrance which followed led to the proclamation of Gen, 
McClellan'a Sabbath Orders, dated respectively September ii and November 

■i~. i86i: 



lar sympathy and benevolence, we may quote from the 
personal records of these first visits. 

Mrs. Harris addressed the following paper to Rev. Dr. 
W. J. E,. Taylor, and it was read by him to a crowded 
audience, at a public meeting held in Philadelphia, on 
the evening of Sabbath, August 25, 1861. The meeting- 
was in Eev. Dr. Wylie's church, and was called " to 
hear addresses and take measures in behalf of efforts 
to promote the spiritual welfare of our Pennsylvania 
soldiers, especially those in camps and hospitals." It is 
not difficult to conceive what must have been the effect 
of this simple story of an eye-witness, and that witness 
an earnest Christian woman, upon an assembly gathered 
under circumstances so peculiar and impressive: — 

My Dear Sir : At the suggestion of Mr. Geo. H. Stuart, I throw 
together and furnish you some of the incidents of my late visits to 
the military hospitals and camps. I went in behalf of the Ladies' 
Aid, taking hospital stores, tracts, etc., etc. 

Visiting the military hospitals of Washington, Georgetown, and 
Alexandria two days after (Tuesday, July 23). the battle of Bull 
Run, the value of our holy religion and its power to soothe were 
felt as never before. In the different hospitals about 500 wounded 
of youth, with every variety and degree of injury, were found. 
Passing from cot to cot with almost bursting heart, " Words of Jesus" 
were whispered into the ears of many of the sufferers. As the poor 
fellows caught the sound they looked up with cheerful countenances, 
and even glad surprise, giving utterance to such expressions as the 
following: — "Oh I ought to be thankful it is no worse; it is only a 
flesh wound. If God had forgotten me in the battle as I have for- 
gotten him, I should not have been here. I hope I may never again 
forget his goodness/' Another, whose benignant, placid expression 
told of great peace, to the remark " You have been shielded in the 
day of battle, perhaps in answer to a mother's prayers," replied. 
"Yes, to those of a sainted mother; but especially to those of a 
praying wife, who, in a letter just received, says, "I spent the whole 


of Sabbath in prayer for you,' not knowing I was in the battle, but 
her Father and ray Father knew it. That was enough. I went 
into the battle with prayer and came out with thanksgiving for a 

spared life." I was about to pass on when the position of his arm 
arrested me. "You are wounded in the arm?" "Yes." "I hope 
not seriously." "Yes, it was amputated at the elbow before I left 
the field." Wholly unprepared for such an announcement- my feel- 
ings overpowered me. He soothingly said, "It is only m\ r left arm. 
Thai is not much to give to my country. It might have been my 
life." Another, a lovely youth, whose bright restless eye and flushed 
cheek told of suffering, grasped my hand and gently pulled me 
towards him. as I knelt beside him and said, " My dear boy, what 
can I do for you? Shall I talk to you of Jesus?" "Oh, yes," he 
said, " I am used to that. I have loved Him, but not near enough, 
for two years, and now He is going to take me home." " You are 
very young. Have you a mother?" "Oh, yes." Tears filled his 
eyes. "It must have been a great trial to give you to your country." 
" Yes, it was. When I first mentioned it she would not hear me, 
but we both prayed over it, and at last she consented, saying, 'My 
country deserves this sacrifice. I gave you to God at your birth, 
and this is His cause.' " As I fanned the dear boy, brushing back 
the hair from bis beautiful forehead, he fell into a sleep. When I 
withdrew my hand he started and exclaimed, "Oh, I dreamed that 
that was Annie's hand. Won't you put it on my head again?" 
"Who is Annie?" "My twin sister. We were seventeen since I 
left home." This dear youth is now with the Saviour. He died 
from his wounds the next day. Many such testimonies were given 
to the power of grace to strengthen and cheer in time of deep 

Some of the sick visited last week seemed deeply grateful for 
lie gift of a tract, or anv little kindness and expression of sympa- 
thy. S were near death and were groping like blind men, — 

needing some one to lead them to the "Light of Life." Some had 
just died and "made no sign." Others were mourning over a dis- 
honored profession ; they ran well for a time, but the temptation- of 
camp life were too powerful ; resistance grew daily more feeble, until 
in Bome instances they had lapsed into open, outrageous gin, and 
were suffering all the pangs of an outraged conscience, and needed, 


as only such souls can tell, to Be reminded of Him whose blood 
cleanses from all sin. Others were glad to hear the name of the 
Master. To the remark, " How sweet and comforting it is to feel, 
wherever I go, Jesus has been here before me and knows just what 
is needed," — came the glad reply, "How sweet the name of Jesus 
sounds ! It is the first time I have heard it since I came into the 
hospital, excejiting when I uttered it myself." .... 

I might go on multiplying such incidents, but the above are suffi- 
cient to indicate the work to be done by Christians among noble and 
oft suffering soldiers. We do not half realize our obligations to them 
and to our Master. Their sufferings, like His, are vicarious. Did 
they not enter the breach, where should we be? 

Mr. Colyer and Mr. Ballard left New York on the 
evening of Tuesday, July 23. The subjoined extracts 
are from Mr. Colyer's journal of the visit: — 

" We arrived in Washington ( 'ity soon after sunrise on Wednesday, 
July 24, and the passing of long lines of army wagons, tumbled 
together in discreditable confusion, and the sentinels with their gleam- 
ing bayonets and white tents, told plainly of our approach to the seat 
of war. At that hour many of the weary soldiers were still asleep, 
lying on the door-steps and side-walks of the city. Groups of them, 
at intervals, before some public building, would be seen preparing 
their breakfasts. Their kettles, propped upon stones, were simmer- 
ing in the smoke of a dozen fires, while the fragrant odor arising 
therefrom was rather provoking to an appetite whet with a night's 
long travel and the cool morning air. The soldiers appeared jailed, 
and for the most part indifferent to the niceties of the toilet ; yet here 
and there you would see one combing his hair before a small mirror, 
or bathing himself at a running hydrant. On Pennsylvania Avenue 
they were to be counted by the thousand, in every variety of costume; 
and although in much confusion, yet there were to be detected traces 
of that order which comes from life in the camp. Men slightly 
wounded would here and there be seen, and any kindness extended 
to them was seemingly equally appreciated by their companions. 

"< > i 1 1- duty led us at an early hour to the hospitals. The wounded 
men stretched upon neat and tidy single cots, were glad to see visitors. 


There were upwards of three hundred and fifty patients, — two-thirds 
or more wounded at the battle of the Sunday previous. They wished 
to converse, and after we had had quite a talk with one, he would 
refer US to some other in the same ward, who he thought would be 
pleased to speak with a friend from home. Their wounds were of 
every sort, — bullet-wounds through the thigh, leg, arm, shoulder, 
with severe cuts from bursting shells, buck-shot, etc. The far larger 
number were shot through the side. This arose from two causes, — 
partly from their being exposed to a flank-fire, and partly from the 
manner of loading and tiring, which presents the side oftener than 
the face to the enemy. 

"We spent the day in writing letters for them to their wives, 
parents, relatives, and friends. It was very touching to find them 
often thinking more of their loved ones than of themselves, and when 
we would put some endearing conclusion to the notes, such a> the 
writer trusted 'this would find them all well,' and signed with ' love 
affectionately,' they would turn aside with voices choking with 

" .... In going through one of the wards where some thirty 
sutiering soldiers were lying on their cots, I took a large package of 
tracts, opened it, ami allowed each man to choose for himself. There 
were Lives of Vicars, of Havelock, Colonel Gardiner, Story of The 
Soldier's Sun, The Roll-Call, Welcome to Jesus, and tracts on the 
Soldier's Welcome Home, on Swearing, on Temperance, and many 
others. As each wounded man chose a book, he would raise himself 
up on his cot and inquire of his neighbor what book he had chosen ; 
and having ascertained he would then select some other, and remark, 
' When we have read each our own we will exchange.' While they 
were thus engaged, a number of the wounded who were seated nut on 
an open verandah enjoying the cooler air, espying through an open 
window til. package and what was going on within, sent several of 
their number hobbling in to make a selection for them. I took the 
bundle out to them, and the majority having selected hymn books, 
in a few minutes I heard them all singing the hymn beginning, — 

'There is a fountain tilled with blood 
Drawn from Emmanuel's veins,' etc. 

And thus were brave and noble fellows from Maine, Wisconsin, 


Indiana, Connecticut, and the New York Fire Zouaves, cheerful as 
they were courageous, and the gallant Highlanders, far away from 
home, with limbs lacerated in defense of their country, singing in that 
evening twilight with hearty zeal that beautiful hymn. 

" . . . . Although the Government of the United States, and the 
' Governors of Connecticut, New York, and Wisconsin, and I do not 
know but some others, have sent orders to have every thing provided 
for the sick that may be required, yet the Christian missionary, in 
going through the various wards of the hospitals, can often find cases 
which, in the multiplicity of objects, and pressure of other, perhaps 
more serious work, have been overlooked. It was from this cause, 
doubtless, that we found a ready welcome given to little presents of 
drawers, socks, fans, shirts, wrappers, etc., by finding individual cases 
where they were really needed." 

Mr. Colyer remained at Washington, labelling among 
the soldiers in camp and hospital. He was assisted by 
other delegates from the New York Association, and 
representatives were also present from other societies. 
Supplies began to be liberally sent forward by churches, 
local societies, etc. The government was disposed to 
grant every facility needed for reaching and ministering 
to the men. The chaplains hailed the establishment of 
such means of communication with the friends at home, 
and thankfully availed themselves of their new oppor- 
tunities. 1 

1 Mr. Colyer writes: — "At that time there were no chaplains for the hos- 
pitals, and no power in the hands of the President to appoint any. Mr. Lin- 
coln gave notice of his willingness to appoint such persons as came suitably 
commended, but there was no money with which to pay them. In this emer- 
gency the Misses Woolsey, two wealthy ladies of New York then residing in 
Washington, told me that if I would name a clergyman for the Alexandria 
hospitals, they would pay his salary." This was done. "These ladies also 
used their own private carriage as a vehicle, and carried quantities of hospital 
stores to the army. Up to the close of the war they carried on their liberal 
ministrations to the soldiers, wherever they could find opportunity. They 
visited the battle-fields, — Gettysburg, Edward's Ferry, Yorktown, and others. 


Mr. Colyer soon discovered that the mission which 
had been "undertaken in Christian sympathy as a tem- 
porary task, would have to he kept up and extended as 
a permanent duty." The work began to assume- gigantic 
proportions, ami demanded the organization and concen- 
tration of the Christian agencies of the country. Accord- 
ingly, on the 22d of August, lie wrote to his colleagues 
of the New York Committee, and suggested the calling 
of a cun vention of the Young Men's Christian Associa- 
tions of the loyal States, for the purpose of forming a 
general commission. The suggestion was favorably re- 
ceived, and steps were at once taken toward carrying it 
into effect. In addition to the immediate endorsement 
id' the plan by the officers of the New York Association, 
formal action was taken at a meeting held on the 23d of 
September, when a committee was appointed, of which 
Mr. Colyer was chairman, " to conduct the correspond- 
ence and arrange the details" for the meeting, in behalf 
of the Association. Mr. Colyer addressed a series of 
inquiries to the chaplains of the army, to secure such 
definite and authentic information as would assist the 
proposed convention in reaching the most desirable re- 
sults. Replies were received from more than sixty 
chaplains. He also visited the principal Eastern cities, 
to consult the leading members of the several Associa- 
tions, and to urge forward the new movement. The 
proposition was everywhere approved. 1 The "National 
Committee of the Young .Men's Christian Associations 

They carried on :i large correspondence with soldiers' families, ami did a vast 
amount of good." 

1 \ ii v early in October, even before it was decided t" hold a convention, the 
Associations of Boston and Brooklyn had appointed their delegates. 


of the United States," for the year 1861, resided in 
Philadelphia, — Mr. George H. Stuart being chairman. 
The convention asked for could only he called by this 
committee. Ordinarily such conventions were called at 
stated intervals, and Mr. James Grant, a member of the 
committee to whom the matter had been referred, asked 
Mr. Colyer to put in writing his reasons for the unusual 
measure now contemplated. Mr. Colyer thereupon pre- 
pared the following letter: — 

Washington City, 1>. I '.. October 1, 1S61. 

Dear Sir: Having been occupied for these last ten weeks in the 
army, at Washington, as representative of the New York Associa- 
tion, the necessity for a much more extended organization, in order 
to meet, even approximately, the Christian wants of the soldier, has 
so impressed itself upon me, that I cannot avoid writing to voir for 
aid. I wish to ask the National Committee, of which you are a 
member, earnestly to consider the propriety of calling a general con- 
vention, at some central place, at the earliest practicable day, to 
consider the spiritual wants of the young men of our army, in order 
that the same may be provided for by the appointing of a " Christian 
Commission," 1 whose duty it shall be to take entire charge of this 

The government has now over 250,000 men enlisted, the far greater 
majority of whom are young men, and not a few of them members of 
our Associations. These young men are risking their lives for their 
country, exposed to constant hardships, and subjected to all the 
temptations and debasing influences of camp life. They are liable 
to sickness and prolonged suffering from wounds in hospital, and to 
sudden death upon the battle-field. To meet the great wants of these 
young men, under circumstances which so urgently call upon our 
Christian sympathies and gratitude ( for they are assembled in defense 
of our homes, our rights, and our government), no adequate exertion 
has yet been made. Our Society in New York has raised and ex- 
pended §2,000, and forwarded books, tracts, and hospital stores worth 

1 This is the first mention, so far as known, of the title " Christian Commis- 


$3,000 more. The Washington City Society has had its members 
actively employed in the camps around this city, until the army 
became so large that it was entirely beyond its reach, and it had 
exhausted its means. Your Society has sent a deputation to inquire 
into the matter and report. Other Societies, of which we have no 
advices (except the Boston, which lias done a good work for the 
navy), have doubtless done much. Yet it is all but as a drop in the 
bucket, compared with what ought to be done, and what the great 
Societies whom you represent are capable of doing. 

Let me inclose a few brief extracts from letters I have received 
from chaplains : 

"Allow me, in behalf of the regiment of which I am chaplain, to 
thank your Association for the books and tracts so kindly provided 
for the men. Could the friends of Jesus know how gratefully these 
books and tracts are received by our soldiers, they would be prompted 

to increased liberality If these works, added to the labors of 

the chaplains, accomplished no more than to save the religious portion 
of our army from backsliding, it would prove a mighty work; but 
their potency for good in increasing the morale of the army can 
only be measured by those who have an opportunity to judge of 
their effects. 

" W. P. Strickland, 
" Chaplain 48th N. Y. Volunteer*:' 

"May God bless you in your labor of love and charity. I believe 
the seed of truth sown during this war will be the means of awaken- 
ing many souls to Christ. Pray for me that my faith fail not. 

" J. R. Carpenter, 
" Chaplain 1st Beg't D. C. Volunteers." 

" I rejoice in the Lord at your ' labor of love.' In my opinion 
this is a work second only in importance to the appointment of the 
highest officers in command. Blessings upon you and your true 
yoke-fellows everywhere for trying to introduce more of the Spirit 
of God into our ranks. Camp life abounds with temptations,- and 
the soldier's calling is demoralizing in the extreme. 


" Chaplain 1st Mass. Volunteers" 



" I would do much violence to my own feelings of gratitude did I 
not avail myself of this opportunity of thanking you, on behalf of 
myself and also of the religious portion of the Thirty-first Regiment 
Pennsylvania Volunteers, for your very timely supply of religious 
books, etc. ]So person can safely calculate the religious destitution 
of the army, unless they have had practical experience of living in 
camp. Without such an agency as this which you hold here, many 
persons would suffer severely. May the Most High prosper your 
work of faith, and bless you and those who are associated with you 
in so good and so necessary a cause. 

" E. W. Oliver, 
" Chaplain 31.rf Rerjt Pa. Volunteers." 

I could add many more like these, but this will suffice to show how 
the work here is regarded by those who are most interested, and the 
best capable of judging of its necessity and usefulness. 

It will be seen, then, that I do not ask you to try an experiment, 
but to continue and enlarge a work which is already practically 
under way and successfully working, but which has now grown so 
large that we cannot do better than resign it into hands capable 
of giving it the dimensions it deserves, and, I trust, will receive 
from you. 

I need not urge the necessity of prompt as well as decisive action, — 
for it must be apparent to every one, that whatever is done effectively 
in this army work must be done quickly. At any moment a terrible 
battle may take place here, and all along our lines | in the "West 
particularly) engagements are daily occurring; besides, the troops 
are continually in motion, and the habits of the men are forming 
daily, either for good or evil. 

The work is so extensive and needs such large resources, that single 
Associations can do but little, and for them to act independently of 
each other is to increase vastly the expenses while the labor accom- 
plished will be less; and while some sections will receive too much 
attention others will be comparatively neglected. 

I need not say what a blessing such a work will prove to the Asso- 
ciations themselves. It is well known that many of these societies 
are now languishing for the want of means to meet their current 
expenses; and it might reasonably be asked, seemingly, How can 


they, then, undertake a new and extensive work like this? The 
answer is. They can readily collect money for this special army 
mission when they cannot for anything else. The community i- so 
sensitively alive to the wants of the soldiers, — nearly every city, 
town, village or family having their own citizens and members in the 
army, — that the subject takes immediate hold of their sympathies, 
and will command their ready aid and support. We have tried it, 
and found it so. 

Having had a personal interview with the President of your Com- 
mittee, and learned his hearty readiness to co-operate in this work, I 
visited Boston, and there met with an equally cordial response. 
That Society will send an able delegate, and our New York Society 
will select a prominent citizen and member to represent it ; and I 
doubt not, if the time would have admitted, other Societies would 
have promised the same. I therefore leave the matter in your hands, 
and pray that a Convention of all the Young Men's Christian Asso- 
ciations of the Loyal States may lie called at an early day. 
With Christian esteem, fraternally yours, 

Vincent Colyer, 

N< w York Y. M. C. A., 
Chairman Com. on Correspondence with Convention. 
To James Grant, Esq., 

Of the Com. for calling Convention Y. M. C. A. of the U. S., 

Philadelphia, Pa. 

Having been continuously at this centre, with abundant oppor- 
tunities of observation, and feeling strongly impressed with the 
necessity of united and energetic action in this great work, I heartily 
concur in the proposition presented by Brother Colyer with the view 

of securing such concerted action. 

M. H. Miller, 

President Washington City Y. 31. C. A. 

The National Committee was somewhat delayed in it- 
act inn, owing in part to the illness of the chairman, but 
nil the 18th of October it was decided to call the Con- 
vention. 1 New York, at the rooms of the Association 

1 In a private letter dated June 2ii. ISt'iti, Mr. dram writes, " Unquestionably 


in that city, was selected as the place of holding the 
Convention, and the 7th of November proposed as the 
date of meeting. The day, however, was subsequently 
changed to the 14th, " to give opportunity for communi- 
cation with the more distant Associations." On the 
28th of October, therefore, the official call for the Con- 
vention was issued, as follows : — 

Philadelphia, October 28. 1861. 

To the Secretary of the 

Young Men's Christian Association of 

Dear Sir: t The Central Committee of the Confederation of Young 
Men's Christian Associations having been urged to call together a 
Convention, for the purpose of systematizing and extending the 
Christian efforts of the various Associations among the soldiers of 
the army, do hereby request such a Convention to meet at the rooms 
OFTHeYotjng Men's Christian Association of New Yokk, on 
Thursday, the fourteenth day of November next. 

In issuing this call, they, in common with Christians of every 
name, deeply deplore the necessity which has forced the Government 
to take up arms in defense of its constitutional rights and liberties, 
and it is their earnest prayer that by the blessing of God, on a true 
and righteous basis, peace may soon again be enjoyed throughout 
every State of the once happy and prosperous Union. 

In the meantime, while such numbers of young men are congre- 

t ho idea of the Commission originated with the New York Association, and 
Mr. Golyer was the first to lav it before us. It is a singular reflection to my 
own mind to remember how slow and faint-hearted we were when the idea was 
first presented to. us. The magnitude of the work, the agitated state of the 
country, and the fears lest the whole matter should prove a failure, were the 
cause of this. We had little faith, and certainly had no thought that the 
results of that convention would prove so glorious, and be known, as it is, world- 
wide. There was much difficulty in obtaining a meeting of the committee. I 
well remember the warm afternoon, October IS. 1S61, when it at last met and 
decided to call the convention. This was done after fervent prayer; and 
having come to the decision, prayer was, I believe, again offered, that the bless- 
ing of God might be upon the convention, and that He would be present to guide 
and ratify all its deliberations. I was appointed to prepare the official circular, 
and did so." 


gated together, surrounded by temptation and danger, an open field 
of usefulness is presented, vast in extent and interesting beyond 
expression. To enter in and cultivate this field, there appears no 
instrumentality so well adapted as the organizations already formed 
in almost every city, town, and village of the country. 

The work has already been successfully begun by several of these, 
in particular by the New York Association, whose agent 1 has for 
nearly three months been actively employed among the camps in 
the neighborhood of Washington. 

It is exceedingly desirable that in a cause so unquestionably 
important, evert Association ix THE land should lend its aid, 
and that there should be unanimity of feeling and concert of action. 
Hence the reason for this call, — a call which the Committee trust « ill 
meet with a response equal to the grand object it has in view. 

The Associations, in their endeavors to meet the spiritual wants of 
the soldiers, will doubtless be amply sustained by the Christian 
public, and there are abundant proofs that these labors -will be 
appreciated and kindly received by the soldiers themselves. 

It is earnestly hoped that every Association receiving this circular 
will make a strenuous effort to send forward at least one Delegate 
to the Convention, and if in any case this should be impracticable, it 
is recommended that the views of such on the whole subject be com- 
municated in writing to the Secretary of the Convention, at the 
Bible Rooms, corner of Third avenue and Ninth street, New York. 

1 It -lirml.l here be remarked that the labors of Mr. Culver in the army were 
entirely gratuitous. Mr. Brainerd says : — "No compensation was ever made 
by the committee to Mr. Culver, for bis long and faithful service, involving a 
complete relinquishment of bis business for the time. His was a free-will 
offering." It may also be added that at the Convention which, in pursuance 
of the above call, formed the Christian Commission, Mr. Colyer occupied the 
first afternoon of the session in detailing his experiences in the army and bis 
reasons for desiring the formation of the Commission. Immediately on the 
adjournment of the Convention be returned to Washington and to bis work 
among the soldiers. He remained until the following summer, — devoting in 
all sixteen months of time, — acting as agent for the Young Men's Christian 
Association of Brooklyn, the ladies of St, George's Church, New York, and 
others. He distributed over $27,000 worth of hospital stores, fund, books, etc., 
besides being on several occasions employed in important services for the 


Believing that no machinery put in operation can do effective 
work without Divine aid, earnest prayer is requested that God's 
blessing may rest upon the Convention, guide it in all its delibera- 
tions, and crown its every effort for the temporal and spiritual wel- 
fare of the soldiers with complete success. 
By order of the Committee. 

Geo. H. Stuart, Chairman, 
Joiin Wanamakee, Cor. Sec'y. 
James Geant, 
John W. Sexton, 
Geoege Cookman. 

P. S. The first meeting will be held at the rooms of the Associa- 
tion, Bible House, corner of Third avenue and Ninth street, New 
York, on Thursday, November 14, at 3 p. m. 



In pursuance of the foregoing call, the Convention 
assembled at the time and place named, — in the rooms 
of the New York Young Men's Christian Association, 
Bible House, on Thursday, November 14, 1861, at 3 
o'clock, p. M. The following is a list of the delegates 
present and of the Associations represented : — 

New York City. — Rev. Stephen H. Tyng, Jr., Vincent 
Colyer, Frank W. Ballard, Edward Colgate, Rev. J. H. 
Burtis, Cephas Brainerd, Benjamin Lord, Benj. F. 
Manierre, Gilead B. Nash, Lewis S. Hallock, Caleb B. 
Knevals, Gerardus C. King. 

Amsterdam, N. Y. — E. J. Purely. 

Boston, Mass. — E. S. Tobey, Charles Demond. 

Bridgeport, Conn. — Rev. A. R. Thompson, M. C. 
I law lev. 

Brooklyn, N. Y. — William B. Jones, Henry White. 

Buffalo, N. Y.— William C. Bryant, J. D. Hill, m. d. 

Chicago, III. — J. King. 

Cincinnati, Ohio. — H. Thane Miller, Samuel Lowrey. 

Danbwry, Conn. — S. G. Raymond, 

Philadelphia, Penna. — Geo. H. Stuart, Rev. S. J. 
Baird, d. d., John Wanamaker, A. M. Burton. 



Stamford, Conn. — Hennell Stevens. 

Trenton, N. J.—E. W. Scudder. 

Troy, JST. F.— Rev. Wm, H. Smith. 

Washington, D. C.—R.T.Morsell, William Ballantyne. 

Waterbury, Conn. — L. S. Davis, G. W. Beach. 

Upon the organization of the Convention, Geo. H. 
Stuart was chosen President ; Edward S. Tobey, Vice- 
President ; Cephas Brainerd and William Ballantyne, 

Messrs. Demond, Vernon, Wanamaker, Manierre, 
Baird, Colyer, and Stuart, were apj)ointed a Business 

The Convention was in session two days. The first 
day was occupied with statements and addresses, setting 
forth the wants of the army, and what had been done 
among the soldiers by the Washington and New York 
Associations, and by the Tract Societies of New York 
and Boston. Considerable time was spent in prayer, 
and the members of the Convention seemed to act in 
humble reliance upon the guidance and blessing of 

On the second day, Mr. Demond, from the Business 
Committee, presented the following report. After full 
discussion, the report was unanimously adopted, — the 
words " and marines" being added after the word 
" sailors," and the words " and others" after the word 
" chaplains," in the first resolution. 

The Committee appointed to prepare and present business to the 
Convention have attended to that duty, and beg leave to present the 
following resolutions, which, taken together, constitute a plan by 
means of which the Associations may work together in aid of the 
soldiers : — 


Resolved, 1. That it is the duty of the Young Men's Christian 
Associations to take active measures to promote the spiritual and 
temporal welfare of the soldiers in the army and the sailors [and 
marines] in t he navy, in co-operation with the chaplains [and others]. 

'Resolved, 2. That a Christian Commission, consisting of twelve 
members, who shall serve gratuitously, five of whom shall be a 
quorum, and who may fill their own vacancies, be appointed to take 
charge of the whole work, with power to appoint one or more secre- 
taries, and such other agents as they may deem expedient, prescribe 
their duties, and fix their compensation. 

Resolved, 3. That the Commission report to the Associations and 
the public their doings and disbursements, through such widely cir- 
culating journals as will publish them. 

Resolved, 4. That we recommend that each Association appoint an 
Army Committee, who shall have the charge of collecting, receiv- 
ing, and transmitting contributions of all kinds for the soldiers, and 
be the medium of communication betweeii their several Associations 
and the Commission. 

Resolved, •">. That we have heard with satisfaction that our brethren 
in the army have in some instances organized themselves into reli- 
gious associations, and we hope the good work will go on till there is 
one in every regiment. 

Resolved, 6. That all organizations, designed to promote the spir- 
itual and temporal welfare of the army, be cordially invited freely 
to make use of the facilities afforded by the Commission. 

Resolved, 7. That the Associations be urgently recommended to 
institute immediate measures, by public meetings or otherwise, to 
obtain the necessary means for the expenses incident to the work of 
the Christian Commission. 

Whereas, It has been found by experience that a special tent for 
religious services is of great value, and a large number of chap- 
lains have expressed their desire for some such accommodations, 

Resolved, That the officers of the Convention be directed to peti- 
tion the General Government to provide tents or other accommoda- 
tions, suitable for the holding of religious services. 



The following persons were appointed by the Conven- 
tion, members of the Christian Commission : — 

„ , J Rev. Rollin H. Neale, d. d., 

-boston, < 

( Charles Demond. 

Buffalo, John D. Hill, m. d. 

Chicago, John V. Fakwell. 

n- • t- f Rev. M. L. R. P. Thompson, d. d., 
Cincinnati, < TT _, 

{_ H. Thane Miller. 

(Rev. S. H. Tyng, d. d., 

New York, < Benj. F. Manierre, 

I Rev. Edmund S. Janes, d. d. 

t>i •; 7 7 7 • f Geo. H. Stuart, 
1 hiladelphia, < _ _. _ 

{_ John P. Crozer. 

Washington, Mitchell H. Miller. 

The Commission, thus constituted, held a meeting 
during the last day of the Convention, Nov. 15, at the 
rooms of the New York Association. Geo. H. Stuart 
was elected permanent Chairman of the Commission, 
and B. F. Manierre, Secretary and Treasurer. A com- 
mittee was appointed to jDrepare a circular, setting forth 
what had been done and what it was proposed to do, to 
be sent to the several Young Men's Christian Associa- 
tions throughout the country. 

The day following, Nov. 16, this first Circular of 
the United States Christian Commission Avas issued, as 
follows : — 

Office of the Christian Commission, ' 
New York, Nov. 16, 1861. 


Dear Brethren : At a Convention of the Delegates of the Young 
Men's Christian Associations, held with the New York Association, 
m the city of New York, November 14 and 15, 1861, a Christian 


Commission 1 was appointed, under the resolutions herewith trans- 
mitted, and in their behalf we desire to urge upon you the import- 
ance lit' immediate and decided action upon the subject matter therein 

The object sought to be attained by the Convention is the spiritual 
good of the soldiers, in the army, and incidentally their intellectual 
improvement and social and physical comfort. The Commission 
hopes to be able to establish such agencies as will effect these objects, 
and bring all the Associations into immediate connection with the 
work. We would ask your careful, earnest, and prayerful attention 
to all the resolutions, and in particular to the one in reference to the 
Army Committee, which we trust you will at once appoint, and send 
us their names. 

This work is of great magnitude, and to accomplish it properly 
will require the best exertions of us all. We would suggest that you 
take measures to interest all the people of your place in furnishing 
means to carry on the work, — the Commission being unable to pro- 
ceed without such financial aid. 

The chaplains wish our aid ; Christians in the army call for it ; and 
the precious souls of thousands, daily exposed to death and yet 
unprepared, demand it of us, in the name of Him who died for us. 
It is a field white unto the harvest. The soldiers are ready to hear 
the Word of God spoken in love, and to receive the printed pages. 
The government and General McClellan favor the work. Brethren, 
will you aid us ? 

We propose to take all the contributions in money we may receive 
and appropriate them to furnishing religious reading and teaching to 
the soldiers. We hope to use the money thus contributed, through 
voluntary channels, with little cost, so that what you may give us 
will nearly all be directly applied to the benefit of the army. We 
also propose to be a medium to convey to the army such articles for 
the comfort of the soldiers as friends may desire to send. Our object 
is not to convey them gratuitously, but to see that such articles 
quickly and surely reach those for whom they are intended. 

A general meeting of the Commission will soon be held, and the 

1 The names, as above given, were here inserted, and the resolutions adopted 
by the Convention accompanied the Circular. 


details will be given as soon as perfected. We shall hope for a 
speedy response from you, and shall be glad to give such further 
information as you may desire. 

All contributions and communications may be addressed to Hon. 
Benj. F. Manierre, No. 2J Wall Street, New York. 
Yours, in the Fellowship of the Gospel, 

Edmund S. Janes, ^ 
Charles Demond, V Committee. 
Benj. F. Manierre, j 

To the President of the 

Young Men's Christian Association. 

The second meeting of the Commission was held in 
Washington, D. C, December 10 and 11, 1861. Rev. 
Dr. Tyhg and Mr. Miller, of Cincinnati, resigned their 
places as members of the Commission, and the vacancies 
were filled by the appointment of Rev. B. C. Cutler, d.d., 
of Brooklyn, New York, for the first, and Col. Clinton 
B. Fisk, of St. Louis, Missouri, for the second. An 
Executive Committee of five was appointed, consisting 
of Messrs. Janes, Cutler, Stuart, Manierre, and Demond. 
A Plan of Operations was also drawn up and adopted. 

During this session of the Commission, opportunity 
was given for personal conference with the President, 
Secretary of War, Commanding General, and others in 
authority. They heartily approved the movement, and 
gave it their official endorsement. 1 The members of the 

1 The subjoined correspondence will explain the statement of the text: — 

Washington, D. C, Dec. 11, 1861. 
To His Excellency, Phesident Lincoln : 

Dea>- Sir: At a recent convention of Delegates from Young Men's Christian 
Associations of the country, held in the city of New York, a committee of twelve 
gentlemen was appointed, denominated a Christian Commission, to take active 
measures to promote the spiritual and temporal welfare of the soldiers in the 
army, and the sailors and marines in the navy, in co-operation with chaplains 
and others. The Commission met in this city on yesterday, and have been devis- 


Commission also visited the severaJ camps across the 
Potomac, in the neighborhood of Washington. This 
first day's experience of actual intercourse with the men 
in the field made a deep and permanent impression. It 

ing plans for carrying out the object of their appointment. Before publishing 
their plans they desire an expression of your Excellency's approval, believing as 
tliev do that it will aid us very much in accomplishing the work committed to our 
bands. I have the honor to be yourobedienl servant, 

Geo. II. Stuart, Chairman Christian Commission. 

Executive Mansion. Washington, Dec. 12, 1861. 

Mi/ dear Sir: Your letter of the 11th inst. and accompanying plan, both of 

which are returned as a convenient mode of connecting this with them, have just 

been received. Your Christian and benevolent undertaking for the benefit of the 

soldiers is too obviously proper and praiseworthy to admit any difference of 

opinion. I sincerely hope your plan may be as successful in execution as it is 

just and generous in conception. Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 
Geo. H. Stuart, Esq. 

War Department, December 13. ISf.l. 

Sir: This Department approves the object of the " Christian Commission," as 
set forth in the circular announcing their appointment by a convention of the 
Delegates of the Young Men's Christian Associations, held in the city of New 
York, Nov. 14 and 15, 1861. 

This Department is deeply interested in the "spiritual good of the soldiers in 
our army," as well as in their "intellectual improvement, and social and physical 
comfort," and will cheerfully give its aid to the benevolent and patriotic of the 
land, who desire to improve the condition of our troops. 

It confidently looks for beneficial results from so noble an enterprise, and begs 

you to express to the Commisssion its sincere wish for the success of this great 

work in behalf of the soldier. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Simon Cameron, Secretary of War. 
Gbo. H. Stuart, Esq. 

Headquarters Army of rni: Potoh ic, 1 
Washington, January 8, 1862. J 
Dear Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, inform- 
ing me of the appointment, by the convention of the Young Men's Christian 
Associations, of a Commission to take active measures to promote the spiritual 
and temporal welfare of our soldiers and sailors. 

The objects of the Commission are such as meet my cordial approval, and will, 
if carried out in the proper spirit, prove of great value. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

George B. McCi.ellan. 
Geo. H. Stuart, Esq., Philadelphia. 


was seen that the work to he done was vast and urgent. 
Among the regiments at Upton's Hill, Miner's Hill, 
Hall's Hill, and other points, and the patients in the 
hospital at Fall's Church, these Christian men, — the 
vanguard of several thousands of similar visitors yet to 
come, — were received with every demonstration of wel- 
come and delight. Their little stock of religious reading 
was most eagerly seized, their addresses and prayers 
were listened to with attention and reverence. For 
many of the soldiers there had heen a long dearth of 
religious privileges, and they were reminded of home 
again. If the convictions and emotions experienced that 
day by the seven members of the Christian Commission 
there present could have been transferred to all the 
Christian people of the land, these Annals would not 
show a six months' record of feebleness, hesitancy, and 

The headquarters of the Commission were established 
at No. 2i Wall street, New York (the office of Mr. 
Manierre), where the Executive Committee held its first 
meeting, December 17, 1861. Mr. Stuart was elected 
Chairman of the Committee, a position which he con- 
tinued to hold, as also that of Chairman of the Commis- 
sion at large, during the entire period of its existence. 
At this meeting it was decided " to employ a General 
Agent for three months, at a salary not to exceed two 
thousand dollars a year." 

The Plan of Operations adopted at the meeting in 
Washington, preceded by an Address from the Execu- 
tive Committee, was submitted to the public in a Circu- 
lar, in January, 1862. This document, the first one 
issued after the Commission was fully organized, and the 


first official statement, for general circulation, of its pur- 
poses and plans, is of permanent interest, and is here 
given in full : — 


Office of the Christian Commission, 1 
New York, Jan. 13, 1862. J 

The Christian Commission met in "Washington, and arranged a 
Plan of Operations, which they now submit to the public, and call 
upon the friends of the soldier to aid them in their work. 

Their object is to promote the spiritual and temporal welfare 
of the brave men who now are in arms to put down a wicked 

They propose to do this by aiding the chaplains and others in 
their work : 

1. Bv furnishing to them religious tracts, periodicals, and books. 

'2. By aiding in the formation of religious associations in the 
several regiments. 

3. By putting such associations in correspondence with the Chris- 
tian public. 

4. By cultivating, as far as possible, the religious sympathies and 
prayers of Christians in their behalf. 

5. By obtaining and directing such gratuitous personal labor 
among the soldiers and sailors as may be practicable. 

6. By improving such other opportunities and means as may in 
the providence of God be presented. 

7. By furnishing, as for as possible, profitable reading, other than 
religious, and, wherever there is a permanent military post, by estab- 
lishing a general library of such works. 

8. By establishing a medium of speedy and safe intercommunica- 
tion between the men in the army and navy and their friends and 
families, by which small packages of clothing, books, and medicines, 
can be forwarded, ami mementoes of social affection can be inter- 

Gentlemen, well-known and of high character, in various cities, 
have generously offered to give the time and attention needed to 
carry out this plan, and we hope to be able to appropriate to the 
benefit of the soldiers all contributions entrusted to us, with a small 


expense for intermediate agencies. But we need money to provide 
religious and other reading for the army, and a very large sum can 
be judiciously and profitably used in this way. The Bible, Tract, 
and other benevolent publishing Societies will aid us, but they need 
funds. We must purchase books to a large extent, or leave many 
of the soldiers destitute. It is hoped that editors and publishers will 
furnish papers and books gratuitously, or at reduced prices. Second- 
hand books, also, will be welcomed gratefully by the soldier, and 
will be of value in making up the contemplated libraries. 

All contributions of books, and all packages and articles designed 
for the soldiers, may be sent to any member of the Commission, or 
of the District Committees, which will soon be published; or to the 
rooms of any Christian Association in the land, and they will be 
eared for and forwarded. Articles directed to any particular soldier, 
company, or regiment, will be carefully conveyed, the donor furnish- 
ing money to pay the expressage. Articles not particularly directed, 
will be distributed as the Commission shall deem best Contribu- 
tions in money may be sent to any member of the Commission, or to 
the District Committees, or to the Treasurer. All communications 
should be addressed to the Secretary and Treasurer, Hon. Benj. F. 
Maniorre, 2J Wall street. New York. 

There are over 700,000 men now in the army and navy, who have 
left the comforts of home to endure hardship, and it may be to die, for 
us. A large number of them have now no means of religious 
instruction, and all are exposed to the demoralizing influences of 
war. We propose to encourage in them whatever is good, and keep 
fresh in their remembrance the instructions of earlier years, and to 
develop, organize, and make effective, the religious element in the 
army and navy. The field is open to us. We can have free access 
to their immortal souls; the chaplains desire and call for our aid; 
the Government wish it ; and the men ask for and receive religious 
reading and teaching, with an eagerness most touching. Thousands, 
who at home never entered the house of God, and had none to care 
for their souls, now in imminent peril, desire to know of Him who 
can give them the victory over death, through our Lord Jesus Christ. 
The time is short ; what we do must be done quickly. 

Brethren and friends, we have made known to you our purposes 
and plan of operation. Our appeal is in the soldier's behalf. It is 


for your sons and brothers, and for many, too, who have no parents 
or near relatives, that this work is undertaken. We beseech you by 
all that is valuable in our national institutions, nay, by all that is 
inspiring in the < Shristian faith, ami comforting in the hope of heaven, 
that you come promptly forward to encourage and sustain these 
young men in their patriotic service, ami to secure to them those 
precious spiritual blessings which are needed everywhere and at all 
times, hut especially by those whose lives are in jeopardy every 
hour, who are subject to suffering and want, and who at any moment 
may he .ailed to die on the Held of battle, far away from their 
lathers' sepulchres. 

Geo. H. Stuart, 

Ben.t. F. Manierre, 

Edmund S. .Tanks, 

Chas. Demons, 

Benj. C. Cutler, 

Executive Committee. 


1. The office of the Commission shall be in the city of New York. 
[Changed to Philadelphia.] 

2. There shall be an Executive Committee of five, who shall have 
full power to act for the Commission, subject to its approval, and 
shall report their action to the Commission at each meeting. The 
Committee shall correspond with all other committees of the Com- 
mission, and with all the Associations and other bodies who may 
co-operate with us, giving them such information and suggestions as 
will encourage and quicken them in their work, and shall also report 
their proceedings monthly through the press, giving credit to all 
societies and individuals who may contribute to the purposes of the 
Commission. The Executive Committee may convene the Commis- 
sion when they judge it necessary. 

3. There shall he a General Committee of three in the citv of 
New York, who, with the Treasurer, shall receive all the contribu- 
tions of books and other articles given for the objects of the Com- 
mission, and apportion and forward the same to the committees 
hereinafter mentioned. 

4. The field shall be divided into as many districts as ma] 1» 



found necessary. Each district shall have a committee of throe, to 
be appointed by the Commission, but who need not be members of 
the same, who shall receive, divide, and forward the books and all 
other contributions furnished, as in their judgment the necessities may 
lie found to exist ; and shall also, in their respective districts, super- 
intend all the operations and promote all the interests contemplated 
by this Commission. For this purpose they shall open a correspon- 
dence with one or more chaplains in each brigade in their respective 
districts. Where a regiment is found without a chaplain, they shall 
request the chaplain of some other regiment in the brigade to visit 
the regiment, and seek out the pious officers and soldiers, and induce 
them to form a religious association, to establish social meetings, and 
distribute religious publications, etc. Thev shall also correspond 
with the proper army officers, so as to be informed of the changes in 
the position of the different regiments, and of the facilities that may 
exist for carrying out the objects of the Commission. The com- 
mittee shall serve gratuitously, and shall report their proceedings, 
ami such interesting facts concerning the work as they may lie able 
to gather, at least monthly to the Executive Committee. Each com- 
mittee is authorized to pay such clerks as they may find it imprac- 
ticable to obtain gratuitously, and to incur such other incidental 
expenses as are unavoidable, — the funds furnished being considered 
as trust funds. It is understood to be the duty of the Army Com- 
mittees of the Christian Associations to procure funds, books, and 
periodicals, for the benefit ot' the army, and of each District Com- 
mittee to act ill conjunction with them; but where no such Associa- 
tion exists, the District Committee shall take measures to raise funds 
and contributions, receipt for the same, and report them to the Trea- 
surer t4' the Commission. 

5. The Executive Committee, in conjunction with the District 
Committees, shall at once take measures to organize a plan by which 
the intercommunication between the men in the army and navy and 
their friends may be carried out, and communicate the same to the 
Christian Associations and to the public, as soon as matured. 

The foregoing exposition of the early purposes of the 
Commission clearly shows, what will become more niani- 


fesl as we proceed, that at the outset oo one well under- 
stood the precise work to be done, or the methods by 
which it could be accomplished, li was distinctly Been 
that there was a great opportunity and necessity for tem- 
poral and spiritual ministrations to the soldier-, and 
there was an earnest Christian and patriotic desire to be 
of service to the army and to the nation, but there was 
the absence of that practical knowledge which could only 
come through actual experience. 1 In this the Commis- 
sion exactly reflected the condition of the government 
and the nation. War of such magnitude and character 
was wholly unprecedented, and no one knew how to 
meet it, or to manage anything connected with it. Every- 
thing was improvised and incoherent, and experiment 
and use were requisite to competent organization. In- 
deed, it was wholly uncertain what the magnitude or 
continuance of the struggle was to be, — so much so that 
the Commission was unwilling to enter upon any arrange- 
ment, even with their General Agent, for more than 
three months. Hence it was inevitable that practi- 
cal experience should greatly modify the earliest plans 
and methods. The delegate system, which became the 
right hand of the Commission's strength, is hardly fore- 
shadowed in this first scheme of operations ; the distri- 
bution of stores and other material comforts became much 

1 Mr. Demond writes to Mr. Stuart, under date of April 20, 1864, " In look- 
ing at the resolutions of the Convention which formed the Commission, lam 
more firmly convinced that the Lord was guiding us. I drew those n solutions 

with no very definite idea, and yet t rod 30 direct" ■ ; me that ill the main features 
el our work were there, or entirely in harmony with them. How small were our 
thoughts then, and how dark the way lor a long time in our early meetings i" 
New York ! Blessed he the Lord for the way ill which he has led Us. It is his 
doing, and marvelous in our eyes." 


more prominent as the work grew, and their necessity 
and utility were made manifest ; while the transmission 
of private packages, so conspicuously put forward at first, 
was attended with unanticipated difficulty and perplexity, 
and was finally wholly abandoned as impracticable. It 
is to be said, however, that when the Christian Commis- 
sion fairly comprehended the situation and the work 
before it, it readily adapted itself to these, and became 
the fair exponent of the Christian life of the nation. 
There was at the outset an energy and a jmrpose about 
it that could not ultimately fail of reaching its mark. 
The evidence will be frequently and abundantly given 
that the Commission grew up from very small begin- 
nings, and grew also in its adaptations to varying cir- 
cumstances and wants, as only a movement could grow 
which had within it the most vigorous life. One of the 
most valuable historical lessons of this narrative will 
come from tracing, faithfully and fully, the changes 
which took place in the methods and operations of the 
( lommission, as the true sphere of its action was clearly 
discerned, and as the jiopular Christian life which ani- 
mated it became more self-conscious and powerful. 

Whatever may have been the cause, the fact is mani- 
fest, that for eight or nine months after its formation 
the Commission accomplished very little. At a meeting 
of the Executive Committee held February 17, 1862, 
Mr. Manierre resigned his position as Secretary, retain- 
ing that of Treasurer. Rev. A. M. Morrison, who had 
for some time been gratuitously assisting Mr. Manierre, 
was appointed Secretary, which office he occupied without 
remuneration until the following July. Mr. Manierre 
resigned the treasurership in July, and was succeeded 


by A. V. Stout, President ol' (he Shoe and Leather 
Bank, who also resigned within a tew weeks. Notwith- 
standing early and constant efforts, it was not until May 
1, L862, that, a General A.gen1 was appointed. Rev. B. 
W. Chidlaw, of Cincinnati, after a personal interview 

with the Executive Committee at that time, was chosen 
for the service, hut felt compelled to decline a few days 

afterward, on account of ill-health and other considera- 
tions; Colonel John S. McCalmont, of Pennsylvania, 
was appointed June 6, bu1 declined; l!ev. Dr. Robert 
Patterson, of ( Ihicago, was appointed duly 10, and served 

live or six weeks, when he was succeeded by Rev. W. 

E. Boardman. 

The Christian Commission seems at first to have been 
regarded by the public, not with distrust, for there was 
hardly interest enough manifested to warrant the ascrip- 
tion of such a feeling, hut with genera] indifference. 
'Idie prevailing uncertainty that attached to everything 
in the national affairs has been alluded to. Then there 
were numerous applicants for public favor in the Tract, 
Publication, and Sunday School Societies, and the Sani- 
tary Commission, and in the various local societies that 
started up all over the country, which proposed looking 
after the troops from their several Stall's or conimunit ies.' 

National feeling had not yet been sufficiently developed 
and hardened into unity of action, the solidity of sys- 
tematic organization and effective co-operation was want- 

1 In explanntii f this, Rev. Mr. Morris the Secretory, writes to Mr 

Sin. hi under date of July 12, Isii-j, "There is greal confusion in the public 
mind, here in New York, among the numerous agencies busied in similar 
operations, and all making their appeal and claim i" the public in behalf of the 
army. Each party canvasses the ground on il own bi half, and men are disin- 
clined i" take up any more." 


ing alike in the army and at home, and the government 
had neither learned to close the lines of the army against 
the multitude of the philanthropic and the curious, nor 
to use to advantage the spontaneous and abundant benevo- 
lence which was so freely proffered. 

The religious press was by no means forward to 
recognize and assist the Commission, although the first 
address and the notices of its earliest movements were 
published to a limited extent. Theodore Tilton, Editor 
of Tin Independent, writing to Mr. Stuart in May, 1864, 
says, "When tin' Christian Commission was first formed, 
and before it came under its later management, many 
excellent men in this city and elsewhere had only a 
partial confidence in it. As a consequence neither Mr. 
Beecher nor myself felt inclined to give it the support 
of The Independent." In confirmation of this statement 
it must lie remarked that more than a year elapsed before 
a permanent committee of gentlemen could be formed in 
New York, to take charge of the local work of the Com- 
mission in that city. The Young Men's Christian Asso- 
ciation at first performed this local service, but, on 
account .if some misunderstanding, they co-operated with 
the Commission only a few months. The prominent 
Christian men of the city stood aloof, although continu- 
ous and vigorous efforts were made to enlist their sympa- 
thy and assistance. 1 This is shown in the minutes of 
the Executive Committee, and in all the correspondence 
of that period. Under date of July 11, Mr. Norman 
White, who had yielded to solicitations to act for the 

1 An Auxiliary or Branch Commission was organized in Now York City, 
December 8, L862, under the presidency of Mr. William E. Dodge. A detailed 
statement will be found in a subsequent chapter. 


Commission, notifies Mr. Stuart of his inability to gel 

the use of a church for a public meeting, 1 ami adds, 

" My conversation with them" — i. e., pastors of churches 
to whom application had been made — " and some others, 
leads me to a conclusion in reference to the present 
position or status of the Christian Commission in our 
city, not nearly as favorable as I had hoped. While 
this organization has dune hut little, others have been 
very active, and have kept their work constantly before 

the public So great are the difficulties which 

present themselves, that 1 am compelled to decline any 
position on the Commission until it can be placed on a 
different tooting." 

A letter of Mr. Morrison to Rev. Dr. Patterson, dated 
July IS, presents a vivid picture of the condition of 
things at the office of the Commission. It would be 
amusing also, from the present point of view, did we 
not know that at the same time "there were acres of 
sick and wounded soldiers in General McClellan's army, 
without any cover save a blanket, with the thermometer 
at 100 in the shade, and except the agents of the Chris- 
tian Commission none to tell them of the wav of life.*'-' 
Mr. Morrison was about leaving the city for the summer, 
and found it necessary to make some disposal of the 
Commission's property. He therefore reports to the 
General Agent the condition of affairs, and (urns the 

1 Mr. Morrison, referring to the same matter, writes to Mr. Stuarl under date 
of Jul; 1">. "Mr. White failed to get any church for the meeting, and now 

dei lines to net further. Unless 1 gel a • one before to-morrow, p.m., it will 

In- useless to attempt n meeting for next Sunday, and I don't know which way 
to tiifii lor our. I have already pulled in vain all tin- strings at my command." 

■ Rev. David Steele, as quoted in :i letter from Mr. Stuart to .Mr. Norman 
White, dated July 1".. 


property over to him. He writes from 21 Park Place, 
where the office then was, — the store occupied by Mr. 
Stuart for his personal business in New York: — 

There is little to be attended to here, except in the case of Mr. 
Stuart's removing from the store, which is expected on or about the 
1st of August. Then somebody will have to be here, and see the 
assets of the Christian Commission removed to some other office or 

place of storage The assets referred to and on hand here will 

be shown you by the porter of the store. They consist of a mahogany 
table with green top and two drawers, two chairs (oak), the books, 
stationery, stamps, etc., etc., in the desk which I have been using 
here ; and in the upper basement a lot of miscellaneous books, pam- 
phlets, magazines, newspapers, etc., which have come in in little 
parcels since the last were sent away ; together with coal scuttle and 
scoop, hammer and box-opener, marking-pot and materials, brushes, 
etc., paper, twine, nails, etc.; and in the lower basement two barrels 
of old papers, all of which the porter will show you. The postage 
stamps (viz.: 85 red and 50 blue) are in a buff envelope, addressed 
ti> you, under the note paper in the little right hand drawer of the 
desk I am using. There are also a few loose ones, blue and red, in 
the box of pens, in the back part of the same drawer. This will, I 
believe, give you command of all that belongs to the Christian 

In a letter of reminiscences from Mr. Morrison, dated 
June 21, 1866, this feeblest period of the Commission's 
history is graphically portrayed, and with some extracts 
from it we will pass to a more encouraging record : — 

When I took the temporary position of Secretary everything was 
in utter confusion. No papers were passed over to me, and the 
operations and communications of the Commission were at so low an 
ebb that very few accumulated in my possession for weeks 

You can judge of the complete feebleness of the Commission at 
the time, when I tell you that I found it impossible to command 
funds sufficient to rent permanently even the merest corner of an 
office, and during the whole of my tenure it was beaten about from 


pillar in post, in the endeavor to 6nd a place where it might remain 
for a time on sufferance, or for the mere pittance of office-rent its 
treasury could then afford. The office i by courtesy) of the Commis- 
sion was thrice shifted during the few months of my Secretaryship, — 
no, four times. It was first in Mr. Manierre's Insurance Office, No. 
2j Wall street; then at No. 2 Battery Place; then in Broadway 
just above Wall street, fourth story; and last in a store temporarily 

occupied by Mr. Stuart's business, '21 Park Place I gave my 

entire time to it for some months, and was deeply interested in its 

work. The only thing to which I can look back with any satisfac- 
tion in my own administration, — if I may apply so dignified a name 
to it, — is the Tact that there was a pretty frequent and pretty united 
and earnest prayer meeting of one, daily, in behalf of the Christian 
( lommission's work. 

I can think of nothing worth chronicling in the way of annals of 
the Christian Commission during the period preceding Rev. Mr. 
Boardman's appointment to the Secretaryship, which I most joy- 
fully yielded over into his hands. It would lie luit a sorry detail of 
abortive attempts to enlist the press, to enlist men of weight, to 
extend the organization, to stir up branch committees throughout 
the North, and generally to revive our work, which just at that 
moment seemed about to drop into complete inanition. 

But it was tint till discouragement, even during this 
darkest hour. There was, in a few places at least, — 
especially in Philadelphia and Boston, — a growing 
interesl in the Commission. As we have seen, the 
Young Men's Christian Associations of these and several 
Other cities early engaged with vigor in work for the 
army, alike in the camps at home and among the soldiers 
in the (iekl; hut the Boston and Philadelphia Associa- 
tions from the first gave hearty co-operation and support 
to the Christian Commission. In the closing months 
of the year other Associations gave similar assistance. 
Some local societies and benevolent individuals also sent 
their benefactions for the soldiers through this channel. 



Up to August 20, 18G2, as reported by the Chairman at 
a meeting of the Commission at that elate, the cash 
receipts were $5,002, and the value of books and stores 
donated was $11,880.75. 

Most important of all, on May 14, 1862, the first 
deputation was sent to the army for personal work 
among the soldiers, — "agents," as they were then called; 
"Delegates," as these workers were afterwards universally 
named. They numbered fourteen, — ten clergymen and 
four laymen. They went out as a delegation from the 
Philadelphia Young Men's Christian Association, but 
held their authority from the Christian Commission 
and acted under its direction, receiving from it money 
and supplies. This was the beginning of a unique and 
mighty movement. 1 Other Delegates followed from day 
to day, so that at the meeting of August 20 it was 
reported that fifty-five had been sent out, of whom nine 
were still in the field. 

At this August meeting several changes were made. 
Rev. Dr. Cutler resigned from the Commission. Rev. 
Dr. Patterson resigned his position as General Agent, 
" on account of his duties to his church," at the same 
time " expressing his gratitude for the opportunity of 
engaging; for a time in this blessed work." Rev. AV. E. 
Boardman was appointed to the office. Mr. Boardman 

1 This was not the first experiment of such service in the army, although the 
first by the Commission. Besides the visits of Mr. Colyer and his coadjutors, 
from the New York Association, as already noticed, the St. Lonis and Chicago 
Associations sent delegates to Fort Donelson, after its fall, February 10, 1SG2, 
and to the battle-field of Pittsburg Landing, April 7. The Third Animal 
Report, p. IB, says, ''With his own hand General Grant wrote the pass and 
order for transportation for Rev. Robert Patterson, D. v., and his companions, 
who, with Messrs. B. F. Jacobs and D. L. Moody, ministered to the wounded 
at Fort Donelson." 


bad previously spent several weeks in visiting, in behalf 
of the Commission, the military hospitals and posts in 
Maryland and Virginia, "opening up the way" for the 
services of Delegates. Addresses were also prepared, 
which were afterwards issued, appealing to the Christian 
public and to the Young Men's Christian Associations 
for co-operation and assistance. Messrs. Stuart and 
Demond were constituted a Committee to which were 
referred, with full powers, the filling of vacancies exist- 
ing in the Commission and the Executive Committee, 
the location of the headquarters of the Commission; 
the obtaining of an office, and the appointment of a 

No subsequent meeting, either of the Commission or 
the Executive Committee, was held during the year. 
But the work was carried forward, with continual 
increase, under the superintendence of the Chairman, 
who was in constant communication, in person and by 
letter, with the other members of the Committee. The 
Delegates to the army soon discerned more clearly some- 
thing of the nature and extent of the necessities to be 
met. They visited the more important battle-fields of 
the Army of the Potomac and at the AVest, and were 
with the wounded and sick in the Held hospitals, upon 
the transports, and in the large general hospitals estabr 
lished near the seat of war. The hospitals located in our 
Northern cities, and remote from the army, were, as ;i 
general rule, wisely and safely left to local patriotism 
and sympathy for extra-governmental assistance, except 

such superintendence and organization of the abundant 

Voluntary relief as mighl devolve upon the Army Com- 
mittee or Young Men's Christian Association of the 


place. These army labors of the Commission, then, 
during the year, included General McClellan's Penin- 
sula campaign, with the seven days' fight before Rich- 
mond; the battles of Bull Run (second of that name). 
South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Murfrees- 
boro'; General Banks's New Orleans Expedition; be- 
sides the hospitals at Yorktown, Acquia Creek, Fal- 
mouth, Fortress Monroe. Alexandria, Camp Convales- 
cent. Washington, Annapolis, Baltimore, Point Lookout, 
Frederick, Louisville, Nashville, etc., etc. 

The experience acquired from these labors, and the 
reports made, had a very important bearing upon the 
plans of the Commission, and did much towards inform- 
ing and directing the sentiment of the people at home. 
What was needed and what was practicable became better 
understood. It was seen that the Commission could, if 
properly organized and administered, do a valuable work 
that would otherwise he left undone, in saving life, secur- 
ing bodily comfort, and preaching the gospel to the army. 

The relations of the Commission to the government. 
and to the military, medical and clerical authorities in 
the held, readily adjusted themselves as the parties came 
to know each other from personal intercourse, and could 
thus understand what was really desirable. There was 
at first occasional friction both with the military and 
medical officers. When it is remembered that there 
were many societies and individuals asking for special 
government favors, and that the Commission was not vet 
compactly organized, nor its national character estab- 
lished, it will not be regarded as strange that Mr. Stanton, 
Secretary of War, 1 and General Halleck, Commander- 

1 Secretary Stanton became the steadfast friend of the Commission. On 


in-Chief, sometimes placed restrictions upon its act inn 
which at the time seemed severe and were undoubtedly 
needless. It is perhaps true that some of the officers of 
the army were never heartily favorable to the Commis- 
sion, but these were few in number. Restrictions were 
gradually removed, as those in the highest authority 
became satisfied that the operations of the Commission 
would be for the permanent advantage of the soldiers. 1 
On several occasions General McClellan, while at the 
bead of the Army of the Potomac, manifested bis interest 
in the Commission, by letter and in conversation with the 
Delegates, and declared his readiness to accord it every 
proper facility. 

The surgeons, in the beginning, were hardly favorable 
to the presence among their patients of men who bad 
neither professional training nor experience, and whose 
only recommendation was the earnest desire to do good. 
But it was found upon experiment that the Delegates 
were practical men, that they could do much in many 
ways to alleviate the terrible and almost boundless suffer- 
ing, and that their words of comfort, delicacies of \'<»»], 
and religious ministrations, were in themselves sanitary 
agencies of the greatest value.' 2 So the surgeons were in 
time conciliated, and their natural j^rofessional prejudice 
overcome. Many of them volunteered their grateful 

several occasions he granted to it extraordinary facilities, and signified his 
readiness to do whatever might he asked, — using his personal and official 
influence in behalf of the Commission's interest. 
1 See Note at close of chapter. 

•' Rev. S. Hopkins Emory, oi'Quincy, Illinois, writing under date ofNov. 1 1, 
1863, speaks of having statedly held religious services in two of the hospitals 
tin-re during the previous year, and adds, "Tin- physicians in charge testify 
thai ii has been an advantage to the men in every particular. Prayer, or 
some sweet hymn of praise, i- oftentimes better than medicine." 


testimony to the efficient and opportune labors of the 
Commission. Under date of Nov. 22, 1862, after having 
several times temporarily placed restrictions upon the 
Commission's agents, Surgeon-General William A. Ham- 
mond wrote, " I shall always be ready to aid the United 
States Christian Commission in any way that may be 
in my power." 

The chaplains could not fail to welcome the Commis- 
sion, when they came to understand it fully, for it was 
their chief ally, the open channel to the abundance of 
the church at home, and they joyfully testified their 
gratitude for hospital supplies, religious reading, and 
personal assistance. 

But of vastly greater worth and satisfaction than all 
this official endorsement and approval, was the welcome 
given by the thousands of common soldiers in all parts 
of the army, and in every arm of the service. No grati- 
tude was like theirs, and no official commendation at all 
comparable to their hearty and constant "God bless 
you." In the language of General Grant, " To the Com- 
mission the army felt the same gratitude that the loyal 
public felt for the services rendered by the army." The 
Christian Commission was for the soldier the representa- 
tive of home and kindred, and the old Sunday-school 
and church; and its most enduring record is in the 
rescued lives, revived hopes, relieved pains, and penitent 
si nils led to Christ, among those who filled the places of 
peril and suffering along our widely extended lines. 

Most of the leading telegraph, railroad, steamboat, 
and express companies, whose facilities were essential 
to the prompt performance of the Commission's work, 
signified their readiness to serve the Commission 


either without charge or at a large discount from usual 
rates. The American Bible Society, the two national 
Tract Societies, and other Publication Societies and 
Boards began that assistance by grants and co-operation 
which subsequently became systematic and must import- 
ant. Meanwhile the action of all the various influences 
suggested drewupon the Commission more and more the 
attention of the public. The religious and secular press 
gave accounts of its movements, and published extracts 
from the reports and letters of its Delegates. The Dele- 
gates themselves, on returning to their homes, told the 
story of their new and wonderful exjierience to their 
churches and communities, and thus made known the 
necessities and opportunities presented by the army. 
Soldiers who had been helped by the Commission con- 
firmed its statements by letters to their friends, and thus 
became efficient canvassing agents for its treasury. 
Numerous public meetings were held, in cities and towns, 
addressed by those who had been upon the field, im- 
parting information, quickening sympathy, and organ- 
izing the growing interest and benevolence. Especially 
to those Christian people who saw" with delight that by 
the method of the Commission's distribution, through 
volunteer and unpaid Delegates, there was a certainty 
that the soldiers received what was sent them, and that 
with a care for bodily relief the chief place was given to 
Spiritual needs, the Commission commended itself as the 
iiiu-t economical, direct, comprehensive, and efficient 
of the several benevolent agencies in the field. Mr. 
Demond writing from Boston under date of duly '_' 1, 
L862, speaks of the increased favor toward the < 'oininis- 
sion after the earliest Delegates had gone to the army. 


He says, " The two ideas, of spiritual aid and the direct 
giving of needed articles to the sick and wounded hy 
known and trusty agents, are powerful with us." These 
two ideas were the basis and life of the delegate system, 
which developed itself with great rapidity and became 
the means of incalculable good. It was the Commission's 
principal distinction and chief strength. 

Of course the effect of the movements in the several 
departments of the Commission's work was felt most 
powerfully by the central organization. It was seen that 
to co-operate efficiently with the army, and to use advan- 
tageously the enlarging benevolence of the Christian 
public, there must be more system at home and in the 
field. Delegates were left too much to their own dis- 
cretion, which was not always wise ; and there was too 
much dependence for resources upon the undirected 
generous impulses of the people, which were not always 
safe. Thoroughly to organize the work, in its two great 
branches of sujjply at home and relief in the army, was 
the pressing necessity. This was no easy task, for the 
work continually outgrew the channels made for it, and 
could not be overtaken. 

Philadelphia, the residence of the Chairman, had be- 
come during the summer of 1862 the centre of the Com- 
mission's business. It could hardly be otherwise than that 
its main office should be located there, as the reasons for 
fixing it in New York had been counterbalanced by other 
considerations. Mr. Demond, who with Mr. Stuart 
had been constituted a committee to fill vacancies and 
make necessary changes, wrote to Mr. Stuart, from 
Boston, Sept, 6, 1862, " My own opinion is that it is 
best to make the headquarters at Philadelphia, having 


the Treasurer there ; and adding the Treasurer to the 
Executive Committee, and putting Mr. Crozer on the 
Executive Committee, so that you will have a quorum 
there." Mr. Stuart writes to Mr. Morrison, Secretary, 
from Philadelphia, Sept. 0, "The headquarters seem to 
be settling in this city, whether we will or not." Mr. 
Morrison replies from South Orange, N. J., Sept. 12, 
"It seems almost inevitable, under the peculiar circum- 
stances of the Commission, that the headquarters should 
settle in Philadelphia." Several changes therefore were 
made in September, 1 so that at the meeting of the Com- 
mission held in Philadelphia, January 29, 1863, " the 
committee with power to fill vacancies in the Commission 
and Executive Committee, and to establish the place 
of headquarters," reported, " That they had appointed 
Rev. James Eells, d. d., of Brooklyn, and Jay Cooke, 
Esq., of Philadelphia, upon the Commission, in place of 
B. F. Mauierre and Rev. Dr. Cutler, resigned; and John 
P. Crozer and Jay Cooke on the Executive Committee ; 
Joseph Patterson, Esq., of Philadelphia, Treasurer, in 
place of B. F. Manierre, resigned ; and Rev. W. E. 
Boardman, Secretary, in place of Rev. Archibald M. 
Morrison, resigned; and established the headquarters in 
Philadelphia, in the office and store of the Chairman, 
(13 Bank street), who has given their use to the Com- 
mission." 2 This report was approved, and the action of 

1 A letter from Mr. Deruond to Mr. Morrison, dated " No. 13 Bank street, 
Philadelphia, Sept., 1862," shows that he was at that time in consultation 
witli Mr. Stuart, and that the new appointments for the Commission and Execu- 
tive Committee, and to the offices of Secretary and Treasurer, had just been 
agreed upon. 

2 The headquarters thus secured for the Commission were ample and con- 
venient. They were generously given by Mr. Stuart, rent free, during the 




the Committee confirmed. Also, the several addresses 
prepared and voted in August were published in the 
early autumn, and thus the work of the Commission 
was more fairly brought before the public. 1 

The Executive Committee as newly organized, con- 
sisted of Geo. H. Stuart (chairman), Rev. E. S. Janes, 
of New York, Charles Demond, of Boston, John P. 
Crozer and Jay Cooke, of Philadelphia. (The Secre- 
tary and Treasurer, although attending the meetings of 
the Committee and advising with it, were not added as 
members ex officio until 18(J4.) A meeting was held at 
the new office, January 8 and 9, 1863. Besides arrang- 

war. Bank is a small street, intermediate between Second and Third, and 
leading from Market to Chestnut. The building of Messrs. Stuart & Brother 
is a neat and substantial brick, fireproof, four stories in height above the base- 
ment, about sixty feet wide, comprising the two Nos., 11 and 13, and extending 
in length from Bank to Strawberry street, about one hundred and thirty feet. 
At first the Commission occupied a corner in Mr. Stuart's private office, in No. 
13, but was soon removed to the second floor of No. 11, — a spacious room 
thirty feet wide by one hundred and thirty feet long. The Bank street front 
was used for office purposes, while the remainder of the room was used for 
packing and shipping the various purchases and donations of goods and read- 
ing matter. Other accommodations for storage, etc., were furnished when 

1 Rev. Alexander Reed, then of Parkesburg, Pa., now of Philadelphia, 
was appointed General Superintendent, November 1, 1862, after having done 
good service as delegate in two or three visits to the army. Mr. Reed's official 
connection with the Commission continued about five months, for which his 
church granted him leave of absence. His duties were many and various, 
and were discharged with zeal, fidelity, and efficiency, — sometimes calling 
him to the army, sometimes keeping him at the central office, and again requir- 
ing him to address public meetings or organize the work at some important 
point. At the end of the period named Mr. Reed returned to his pastorate, as 
there was no indication of an early close of the war, and his church greatly 
needed his presence. The office of General Superintendent or General Agent 
was not continued beyond Mr. Reed's term of service, — the better organiza- 
tion of the Commission showing that the duties of this position could be more 
satisfactorily discharged by being distributed among the executive officers at 
home and the agents in the field. 


ing for a public anniversary and general meeting of the 
Commission, and adopting measures for a more vigorous 
and systematic prosecution of its work at home and in 
the army, some questions were acted upon winch affected 
its policy and the scope of its operations. It was also 
" Voted, That it is highly important to obtain free access 
to the armies and to the field hospitals within the army 
lines, for the prosecution of the work of the Commission 
by its delegates; ami that Bishop , lanes ho requested to 
take charge of the matter, and if need be to visit Wash- 
ington to make the necessary arrangements with the 
Government." The duty thus devolved upon Bishop 
Janes was performed as soon as practicable. At the 
meeting of the Commission, January '2'K he reported 
that he had visited Washington, that he was cordially 
received by the Secretary of War, and had received 
from him, in his own handwriting, the following 


Washington City, January 24. 1S63. 
Bishop Janes is authorized to state that he lias received assur- 
ance from the Secretary of "War, that every facility consistent with 
tlir exigencies of the service will be afforded to the Christian Com- 
mission, for the performance of their religious and benevolent pur- 
puses in the armies of the United States, and in the forts, garrisons, 
and camps, and military posts. E. M. Stanton. 

A meeting of the Commission at huge was held, as 
above indicated, at the rooms id' the Young Men's ( Ihris- 
tian Association, Philadelphia, Thursday, January 1".'. 
1863. Six of the twelve members were present. — Geo. 
H. Stuart, Bishop 10. S. Janes, ('has. Demond, J. I). 
Hill, M. H. Miller, J. P. Crozer, — with the Secretary 
and Treasurer. The work of the vear was reviewed. 


the action of the Executive Committee and of the Com- 
mittee to fill vacancies was approved, and new plans 
laid for the future. In the evening of the same day 
the first public anniversary was held in the Academy 
of Music, Mr. Stuart in the chair. The immense 
audience-room, according to the papers of the day, 
''was crowded to overflowing with a highly respectable 
audience." An abstract of the Annual Report was 
read by the Secretary; addresses were delivered by the 
Chairman, Rev. Dr. Robert Patterson, Bishop Matthew 
Simpson, Col. S. M. Bowman, Hon. Wm. E. Dodge, and 
Ex-Governor James Pollock. The devotional exercises 
were conducted by Rev. Drs. R. Newton and J. H. 
Kennard. Similar public meetings, or repetitions of 
the anniversary, were held in New York, Boston, and 
Washington. In New York, at the Academy of Music, 
Sunday evening, Feb. 8; Lieutenant-General Scott pre- 
sided, and addresses were made by Major-General Burn- 
side, Colonel McKean, Geo. H. Stuart, Rev. Dr. S. 
H. Tyng, Hon. W. E. Dodge, and Revs. Alex. Reed. 
H. D. Ganse, and J. T. Durvea. In Boston, at Music 
Hall, Sunday evening, Feb. lo ; E. S. Tobey presided, 
and addresses were made by Rev. Dr. John Cotton 
Smith, Rev. Geo. J. Mingins, and Geo. H. Stuart. In 
Washington City, in the Hall of the House of Repre- 
sentatives, by special vote of the House, Sunday evening, 
Feb. L'L', — Washington's Birth-day; Chief-Justice S. 
P. Chase presided, and addresses were made by Major- 
General O. O. Howard, Rear- Admiral A. H. Foote, 
Hon. Horace Maynard, Ex-Governor James Pollock, 
Rev. Dr. W. J. R, Taylor, Rev. J. T. Duryea, Geo. II. 
Stuart, and Jos. Patterson. 


These public meetings in the principal Eastern cities, 
largely attended as they were and widely reported, made 
the Commission more fully known throughout the 
country, as to what it had accomplished, its methods of 
operation, and its purposes for the future. It should be 
remarked also that several of the Young Men's Chris- 
tian Associations and Army Committees, in the large 
cities of the West and elsewhere, in hearty co-operation 
it' not organic union with the Christian Commission, 
held public meetings, — anniversaries or others. — at 
the same season with the anniversaries in the East, and 
thus greatly aided in enlarging the influence and use- 
fulness of the Commission. 

The work of the Commission for the year is given in 
the subjoined statistics, — so far as the figures preserved 
can set forth such a work. They were presented at the 
first Anniversary and published in the first Annual 
Report. Resides indicating the range of the Commis- 
sion's operations, they show also from what Associations 
and Army Committees, and to what extent, it received 
CO-operation during the first year of its history. 

"In addition to these," says the Annual Report, 
" there is much worthy of especial mention, of which no 
record has been kept. For example, a large number of 
( hristian men and women have been associated as helpers 
with our Delegates and committees in their work in hos- 
pitals and camps, not included in the 1033 reported; 
also, the meetings at the seat of war with the soldiers, 
amounting to many thousands; also, many thousands of 
letters written for the soldiers to their friends, or to 
obtain discharges and descriptive lists." 



B. F. Maniekee, Treasurer, in account with Christian Commission. 

To private subscriptions, acknowledged 

in papers $915 37 

To i asli receii ed from Army Com. \ , M. 

C. A., Troy 79 42 

To cash received from Army Cum. Y. M. 

C. A., Boston 100 00 

To i ash received from Army Com. Y.M. 

C. A^Buffalo 50 00 

To cash received from Army Com. Y. M. 

C. A.. Amsterdam 51 72 

$1,196 51 


By bills paid For Commission $860 15 

" incidental expenses 51 03 

" eXJieiiM'Sot' Pele-atr- 141 SS 

" Geo. II. Stuart, Acting Treasurer, 

Philadelphia, remitted uim 100 00 

" Joseph 1'atterson, Treasurer, Phila- 
delphia, to close accounts 43 45 

51,196 01 

New Yore, Avffiut, 1862. 

Geo. II. Stuart, Acting Treasurer, in account with Christian Commission. 

To private subscriptions, acknowledged 

in papers $4,S69 35 

To cash received from Ai my Com. Y. M. 

C. A., Boston 3,405 00 

To i ash received from Ai m\ Com. Y. M. 

C A.. Portland 62 60 

To cash received from B. F. Manierre, 

Treasurer, New York 100 00 

88,436 95 

By expenses Delegates and Agem ies ....$2,648 59 

" freight paid* 392 76 

" incidental expenses paid 54 15 

" billspaid 3,767 L3 

•■ Joseph Patterson, to close accounts.. 1,674 32 

S\43t; '.'."> 

Philadelphia, fifeptemoer 24, 1882. 

Joseph Patterson, Treasurer, in account with Christian Commission, 

To cash received from B. F. Manierre, 

late Treasure! $43 45 

'in i ash received from Geo. H. Stuart, 

late Acting Treasurer 1,574 32 

To private subscriptions, acknowledged 

in papers 8,590 99 

To cash received from Army Com. Y. M. 

C. A, Boston 1.100 00 

To cash received from Army Com. Y. M. 

C. A., Brooklyn 100 00 

To cash received from Army Com. Y. M. 

C. A., St. Louis 1,114 00 

To cash received from Army Com. Y'. M. 

C. A., Albany 52 SI 

To cash received from Army Coin, Y.M. 

C. A., Bangor, Maine 86 75 

To cash received from Army Com. Y. M 

(\ A.. Bntfulo 228 90 

By expenses Delegates and \ ■ mi it - -J, 550 92 

" billspaid 8,947 97 

•■ freightpaidl 719 21 

•■ balance, cash on baud 673 09 

$12.^91 22 

Philadelphia January 29, 1S63. 

$12,891 22 

l Most of these freight expenses were paid prior to arrangements with many roads for free trans- 
















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(See page 125.) 

Tin: following facts are given, as illustrating the varying action 
of Government in granting facilities to the Commission : — 

In the closing days of June, 1862, occurred the seven days' battles 
before Richmond. The Delegates of the Commission wished to go 
forward, but were stopped at Baltimore. The Provost Marshal tele- 
graphed Mr. Stuart from Baltimore, June 30: — 

They can go upon showing evidence that they are in the service of the 
( tovernment, or have the permission or sanction of the Secretary of War. 

Geo. K. Dodge, Provost Marshal. 

The special sanction of the Secretary of War was sought, but 
denied by the following telegram, daled Washington, June 30, 18112, 
3 o'clock 30 inin. p. m.: — 

For military reasons the passes for which yon apply cannot lie granted. 
By order of the Secretary of War. 

Jons TrciiER, Assl Sec'y War. 

The next day, for reasons not explained by the correspondence 

now extant, the Delegates were allowed to proceed, as is seen by a 
telegram dated at Baltimore, duly 1, 1862: — 

Oar [Kisses were cheerfully granted. We go down to-morrow. 

Jno. II. Castle, 
Geo. w. Anderson. 

Four days later the Provost Marshal at Baltimore again tele- 
graphs Mr. Stuart, under date of July 5: — 

Aii order from the Secretary of War. dated July 1, precludes from issuing 
permits except to those in the military and naval service. Application must 
be made to Surgeon-General W. A. Hammond, at Washington. 

Geo. K. Dodge, Provost Marshal. 

The Surgeon-General, being applied to, telegraphed from Wash- 
ington to Mr. Stuart, under date of July 10: — 


None but Government employes are now permitted to go to Army of the 
Potomac. Qualified physicians and nurses will be employed, and passes Bent 
tin in, Km not for a less period than three months. 

W. A. Hammond, Surgeon-Qeaeral. 

On the 23d of July, the Surgeon-General again telegraphs Mr. 
Stuart, in reply to another application: — 

No more passes are granted. Wm. A. Hammond. 

Efforts being continually made, by the representatives of the Com- 
mission in Washington and at other points, to get Delegates through 
the lines, they were more or less successful, with constant interrup- 
tions and delays, so that men were sent forward every few days. 
But the restrictions were nol permanently removed, nor were they 
imposed seemingly upon any principle or with consistency of action. 
In the latter part of July, a rigorous order to exclude civilians from 
tin' army was interpreted by the authorities at Baltimore and For- 
tress Monroe as applying to the Delegates of the Christian Commis- 
sion. Under date of August 1, Mr. Stuart communicated this fact 
to General McClellan, and requested that the interpretation be so 
modified as not to shut out the Commission's Delegates. General 
McClellan replied from the Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 
August 5, as follows: — 

Iain directed by the Commanding Genera] to acknowledge the receipt of 
your letter of the 1st instant, and to say that he lakes pleasure in the compli- 
ance with y 'request. Letters liave Keen addressed to the Provost Marshal 

ai Baltimore, and General I'ix, at Fortress Monroe, requesting that the agents 
of the Christian Commission he granted passes to visit this army, on your 
application. I am, very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant. 

S. Willi IMS 

I i [(Ijuiai)l-General, 

In August, Rev. W. E. Boardman was deputed to go to Wash- 
ington, to consult with the President and others, and to secure per- 
manently, if possible, access to the army. He writes to Mr. Stuart, 
August 16, 18G2, of the "decisive visit of the day" to (uncial 
Halleck: — "His answer was brief, definite, and decisive. All hos- 
pitals and camps tins side of Virginia are open to us tin- our agents 


and supplies, and all supplies for the army in Virginia will be duly 
forwarded and faithfully delivered as we may direct, but no passes 
will be given at present to go to any part of the army in Virginia. 
The arrangement of General McClellan with the Commission is 
revoked. No exceptions will be made under any circumstances." The 
reason given is that such favors will "bring upon them a swarm 
of applications from others." Mr. Boardman remarks, " This rigid 
rule is understood to be temporary, and may soon be relaxed." 

August 30, Mr. J. W. Garrett, President of the Baltimore and 
Ohio Railroad, telegraphed Mr. Stuart from Baltimore: — 

I have instructions from the War Department regarding parties going to 
aid of tin- wounded in late battle. I will order all tickets by you for this 
object to bo recognized without pay by parties holding, and will arrange the 
same with the Government at Washington, and am satisfied that a large 
number can accomplish much good by labor among the wounded if promptly 

Two days later, Sept. 1, Surgeon-General Hammond telegraphs 
Mr. Stuart from Washington: — 

An abundance of surgical assistance and medical supplies is on hand. 

August 28, 1862, Mr. Stuart addressed the Secretary of War, pro- 
posing, in behalf of the Commission, "to furnish, free of expense to 
the Government, two chaplains for each division of the army." The 
Secretary replied, Sept. 18, through his Assistant, Mr. P. II. Wat- 
son : — 

The Secretary of War directs me to ... . inform you that on reference 
to the Surgeon-General lie reports as follows — "From the records of this 
office it appears that many more chaplains arc appointed than there are posi- 
tions to which to assign them. It is my opinion that the services of the chap- 
lains here offered, being entirely voluntary, would be entirely independent of 
military authority, and I recommend that this offer be declined." 

The next official note preserved is from Surgeon-General Ham- 
mond, dated at Washington, Nov. 22, 1862, in which he says: — 

I shall always be ready to aid the Christian Commission in any way that is 
in my power. 

A letter from the Commission to Major-General Burnside, then 


commanding the Army of the Potomac, dated Nov. 26, 1802, speaks 
of the pleasant relations with General McClellan, asks for a continu- 
ance of favors, and says, " We desire nothing new, unless the recent 
change of command and position renders it necessary." 

Still the way was more or less hedged up. Letters from Mr. l!ul- 
lantync, Rev. Alexander Reed (General Superintendent), Mr. F. E. 
Shearer (Agent at Washington), and others, during November, 
December, and January, speak of their persistent endeavors, aided 
by prominent public men, to get passes, and keep the way open ; 
but generally without avail. Mr. Reed writes from Washington, 
Dec. 13, — "I could wee]i in secret places all night, over the distress- 
ing and annoying fact that men arc suffering and we can't relieve 

them I have tried every avenue in vain." Transportation 

was granted for stores, but not for Delegates. The chief hindrance 
seemed to be with Secretary Stanton 1 and General Halleck, and the 
chief objection was that they did not want " a loose, unmanageable 
element, outside of military and medical control," which they had 
had "difficulty in controlling on former occasions." 

January 24, 1863, Secretary Stanton gave to Rev. Bishop E. S. 
Janes the memorandum printed on p. 131. 

The following telegram, dated at the War Department, May 9, 
was received the same day in New York, and reached the office in 
Philadelphia May 11 (Monday): — 

Rev. Bishop Junes: — General Hooker has given positive directions that 
alien. lance and medical supplies >liall net lie allowed to go down until called 
for. Tlie information received by the Department is that at present the atten- 
dance and supplies are ample, and in view of the limited means of land trans- 
portation, compared with the enormous demand for supplies, there should be 
no encumbrance by superfluity. I am happy to say that reports to the Depart- 
ment show the great energy and beneficial results of your Association, and 
every facility consistent with imperative military necessity will be accorded. 

E. M. Stanton. 

Under date of May 14, 1863, Mr. Cole wrote to Mr. Stuart:— 

Iliad yesterday an interview with General Patrick, and I am happy to say 
that 1 have got the promise of passes for all regular Delegates. So I think in 
future there need be no delay in furnishing Delegates, who are to remain from 
six to eight weeks, with passes. Transportation for stores is also secured, and 
everything seems to he right tor a successful work. 

1 See p. LSI, and the u tt there. 


Brigadier-General M. R. Patrick, here referred to, was Provost 
Marshal General in the Army of the Potomac from November, 
1862, until the close of the war. The Commission found in him 
a constant and most faithful friend. He watched over its interests 
with the love of a Christian and the fidelity of a soldier, giving 
it at all times the wisdom of his personal counsels and the 
influence of his office. As Provost Marshal General he issued 
all passes for the Army of the Potomac, except in special cases, 
and he fully kept the above promise to the Commission unto 
the end. 

At a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Commission, held 
May 22, 1863, Bishop Janes and Mr. Demond were appointed a 
special committee, and empowered to proceed to Washington, " to 
endeavor to adjust permanently with the authorities the matter of 
passes, transportation, and facilities within army lines, in the various 
Military Departments East and West." This committee reported at 
a meeting held August 10, that they "had interviews with Secretary 
Stanton and various army officers, and obtained assurances that 
every facility consistent with military necessities shall be granted." 

At the meeting just referred to, August 10, the question was pre- 
sented, growing out of representations from the Commission's agents 
in the West, " What shall be done to secure certain additional facili- 
ties in the Army of the Cumberland?" It was referred to Mr. 
Demond, with instructions to draw up a letter, to be addressed by 
the Chairman to the Secretary of War. This was done. The Secre- 
tary replied, by asking for "a more specific statement of the facili- 
ties desired." Such a statement was made out, after consultation 
with the General Field Agent in the Army of the Cumberland 
(Rev. E. P. Smith), in a letter drawn up by Mr. Demond. The 
final answer from the War Department was, that " application must 
be made for the facilities desired directly to the Department, in each 
particular instance." 

The repeated assurances above recited were, with a few exceptions, 
made good during the remainder of the war. 

The following Special Order from General Grant, while in com- 
mand of the Army of the Mississippi, fitly closes this Note. It is 
the more valuable, as illustrating the spirit and conduct of the man 
in his subsequent relations to the Christian Commission. In Sep- 


tember, 18(34, he extended the order, so :is to make it embrace all 
Departments of the Army of the United States. 

Headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi,') 
In the Field, Chattanooga, Tens-.. Dec. 12, 1863. J 
Special Orders, No. 32. Ex. 

All officers holding commands in the Military Division of the Mississippi, 
are hereby required to extend every facility, not inconsistent with the public 
service, to all Delegates of the United States Christian Commission, and aid 
them, by every legitimate means in their power, to the accomplishment of the 
benevolent and charitable purposes of the Commission. 

Permission will at all times he granted by the proper military authorities to 
such Delegates to pass to all parts within the lines, without hindrance or 

The Commissary Department will at all times sell to such Delegates, upon 
certificates similar to those given by officers, such stores as they may need for 
their own use. 

Military telegraph lines will transmit for such Delegates all messages relat- 
ing to the business of the Commission. 

The Quartermaster's Department will, upon application, furnish such Dele- 
gates and their stores free transportation upon all Government steamers and 
military railroads to and from such points within the Military Division as their 
duties may require them to visit. 

By order of Major-General U. S. Grant. 

Geo. K. Leet, Assistant Adjutant-General. 



"When the second year of the Commission's work 
began, the number of auxiliary associations ami com- 
mittees throughout the North was forty-four ; -when it 
closed, the number was one hundred and eleven. This 
may fairly stand as an index of the Commission's growth, 
and its improvement in method and efficiency was per- 
haps equal to its enlargement. Its first anniversaries, 
largely attended as they were, and participated in by 
men of national reputation in all departments of the 
public service, gained for it the general ear. The sim- 
plicity and directness in its modes of operation; the 
fullness of its financial exhibits ; the endorsement of 
prominent clergymen and others who had visited the 
army in its service ; the appreciation of the soldiers 
themselves, with their officers, surgeons, and chaplains; 1 

1 In the early part of the year a proposition by the Commission to provide 
volunteer chaplains for the army, one for each brigade, was misapprehended 
by some of the regular chaplains. This gave rise, for a little while, to unplea- 
sant discussion and alienation in a few cases. But the misapprehension soon 
passed away, and the result was a better understanding of tin- Commission by 
the chaplains and a more hearty co-operation. The proposition originated 
with the Xew York Committee, and was endorsed by the Central Executive 
Committee on the 3d of March. The design was benevolent, — neither to 
disparage the chaplaincy nor to interfere with it, but to assist it in every 


the increasing favor of government, 1 and the manifest 
blessing of God, — all these strengthened the Commis- 
sion's hold upon the affections of the people, and multi- 
plied its resources. 2 

As the year opened, and the President's Proclamation 
of Emancipation gave definiteness and character to the 
contest, the feeling prevailed that the war would assume 
larger dimensions, involve a thorough reshaping of the 
national policy, and perhaps be protracted through years. 
"The policy of emancipation and of employing black 
soldiers gave to the future a new aspect, about which 
hope and fear and doubt contended in uncertain con- 
flict It was all the while deemed possible that 

the necessity for it [i. e. emancipation] might come, and 
that if it should, the .crisis of the contest would then he 
presented." 3 These changes in public sentiment and 
governmental action, and in the attendant enlargement 

way. The form and tone of the firsl circular, however, were unfortunate, ami 
the whole movement, as was soon discovered, was unwise. 

1 In addition to what is stated elsewhere, the following extracts from a letter 
of Genera] Geo. G. Meade, commanding the Army of the Potomac, will he of 
interest. It was addressed to Mr. Stuart, from the headquarters of the army, 
under date of August ■">, isii3. " It will afford me very great plea- 
sure to render you every encouragement and facility in my power to prosecute 

the good and holy work you have entered upon You may rest 

satisfied that in this army your agents and assistants will receive even co- 
operation, and be treated with all the consideration due the important and 
ivork they are engaged upon. I shall be glad to hear from you when- 
ever anything occurs requiring my action, and shall always be ready, a< far 
as the exigencies of the service and my authority will permit, to comply with 
your wishes." 

'-' Striking illustrations of this are seen in the prompt and noble offerings 
made after the battle of Gettysburg ; as also for our prisoners in Richmond; 
the generous Contributions at Saratoga, to send ice to Charleston, and the large 
Collections on the Pay of National Thank-giving. 

3 President Lincoln's Message, Dec. 9, 1863. 


and improvement of the army, were reflected in the 
movements of the Commission, which drew its life from 
the popular feeling, and adapted its operations to the 
varying exigencies, forms of organization, and methods 
of conduct of the forces in the field. As early as August 
12, 1862, Bishop Janes had written to Mr. Stuart, — 
''The demand for the services of the Commission, in my 
judgment, is likely to continue a long time. It will be 
well for us to mature our plans and strengthen our 
agency as much as possible." 

There was urgent demand for more of system in the 
Commission's army work. Hitherto, indeed, there had 
been nothing worthy the name of army organization, — 
no "controlling head or permanent agency in the field. 7 ' 
Delegates had gone out in companies, each company, 
whether containing three or thirty, constituting one of 
its number a captain, and carrying their own stores. 
They went to such field or hospital as was most needy or 
most accessible, and worked in such way as their judg- 
ment or resources and opportunity determined. Their 
time of service was left to their own convenience. Thus 
each company had to experiment for itself, did not seem 
to represent a permanent and continuous agency, and was 
likely to leave very few and feeble traces of its work. 
That much good was done by this method, or want of 
method, must be gratefully acknowledged ; that much 
good was hindered, through inexperience, by misappli- 
cation and loss of stores, and by failure to gain fully the 
confidence of surgeons, chaplains, and soldiers, it would 
be wrong to deny. But this was slowly improved, as 
the necessity and conditions of efficient co-operation 
witli the government and the army were better under- 


stood. The last of tlic "companies" thus sent out was 
to Murfreesboro', after the battle of Stone River, in the 
firsl days of January, 1863. 

The plan of army organization ultimately adopted, 
hut which it required months to perfect, was to appoint 
a General Field Agent, with one or more Assistants, in 
each army. This General Agent had supervision of the 
entire work in his field, establishing stations as needed, 
assigning Delegates to the various stations, keeping up 
the supply of stores and publications, representing the 
Commission in its intercourse with the military and 
other authorities in the army, and being directly respon- 
sible to the Central Executive Committee. Permanent 
Station Agents were appointed, one for each corps, to 
act under the instructions of the General Field Agent, 
and to direct the labors of the Delegates who might be 
assigned them. Delegates were required to enter the 
service for a period of at least six weeks, unless specially 
excused, and to be subject to the direction of the Field 
Agents. A permanent organization was thus secured, 
composed of a few men carefully chosen, after having 
been trie;! as volunteer workers. They were constantly 
familiar with all the necessities and opportunities of the 
work, kept guard over the stock and stores of the Com- 
mission, and could turn to immediate use the earnest 
hut unskilled zeal of the new Delegates. A system of 
reports, — not perfected and fully introduced, however, 
until a year later, — furnished the requisite information 
for the Agents ami for the Executive and Auxiliary 
Committees. This information also, so far as desirable, 
was communicated to the public through various chan- 
nels. Thus an interest in the work was sustained, and 



a record of its method and achievements preserved. 
This plan of organization resulted from the suggestions 
of men in the field, who felt the need of it, and from 
the deliberations of the Commission. 

A few particulars upon the points thus sketched are 
here proper. John A. Cole, of Medway, Massachusetts, 
was the first General Field Agent appointed. IK' went 
to the Army of the Potomac as a Delegate, August 20, 
1862, and remained nine months without compensation. 
He was the first, as his letters show, to appreciate the 
necessity of a thorough organization of the Commission's 
army work, to urge it upon the Executive Committee, 
and to indicate the main features which the organization 
should possess. He received his official appointment 
early in the spring of 1863, and was assigned to the 
Army of the Potomac, — his field subsequently includ- 
ing all the forces operating against Richmond. As 
speedily as possible, which was by no means as speedily 
as he desired, he put his designs into execution, with 
sncli modifications as experience, deliberation, and neces- 
sity suggested. The Executive Committee in accepting 
Mr. Cole's resignation at the close of the work, Sep- 
tember 1, lSli."), thus recalled his early efforts in shap- 
ing the army organization of the Commission: — "in 
accepting this resignation we express to Mr. Cole our 
grateful appreciation of the steadfast purpose, the Chris- 
tian fidelity, and the unselfish and unremitted toil with 
which he has prosecuted our field work for three years 
past, attaining, through God's smile, to a success wider, 
and more permanent and blessed, than our strongest faith 
dared anticipate. And we here record our conviction 
that to his sagacity in originating, his wisdom in plan- 


oing, and his resolute continuance in executing, we are 
indebted for much of the wort that was peculiar and 
very happy in the armies of Virginia; and this being 
the earliest and the largest Held occupied by the Com- 
mission, to Mr. Cole is rightly due the satisfaction of 
knowing that he has largely given shape and character 
to our Held work in other armies." 

The salaries of the permanent agents in the field varied 
in amount from $40 to $70 per month, according to posi- 
tion, with subsistence and incidental expenses. In a few- 
cases, owing to some peculiarity of circumstances, a 
larger compensation was paid, hut the excegs was made 
up independently of the Commission's treasury. 

In the Minutes of the Executive Committee for May 
22, 1863, it is recorded: — "Upon recommendation of 
John A. Cole, Field Agent in the Army of the Poto- 
mac, Rev. Edward P. Smith, tried as a Delegate, was 
-elected from the corps of Delegates in the Army of 
the Potomac, and sent as a Field Agent to the West, 
with instructions, stores, and publications, to open a sys- 
tematic work. of Christian labor, Scripture distribution, 
and supply of religions reading-matter and stores, in 
the Army of General Rosecrans (Department of the 
Cumberland). Having commenced the work remark- 
alilv well, Mr. Smith was further instructed to organize 
and commence a similar work in the Department of the 
Ohio, under General Burnside." 

Mr. Smith, who had been a pastor in Pepperell, Mass., 

entered the Army of the Potomacas a Delegate, January 
26, 1863, and continued in the service of the Commis- 
sion until it dissolved, lie left for the West iii the last 
day- of March. April (>, he reports himself in Nash- 


ville, " waiting on officials," where also he finds " the 
Commission in had repute." Two days later he writes 
from Murfreeshoro', after having had "an interview, 
under favorable circumstances, with General Rosecrans," 
and announces that the Commission is " established in 
the Army of the Cumberland." 

In the Department of the Ohio, General Burnside 
welcomed the presence of the Commission and favored 
it to the extent of his power. The peculiar position and 
service of this Army, as operating for the relief of East 
Tennessee, made it largely dependent upon land trans- 
portation, and compelled it to dispense with every- 
thing that could lie deemed a military superfluity. 
However, much was done through the committees in 
Cincinnati and Louisville, especially for the post hospi- 
tals and more permanent camps. In November, Mr. J. 
11. Miller, who had been Assistant Field Agent in the 
East, was sent to General Burnside's army to superin- 
tend the work. He was an efficient laborer, and re- 
mained with the Commission until its close. 

In June Mr. Smith visited the Army of the Tennes- 
see, commanded by General Grant, then before Vicks- 
burg, to prepare the way for permanent organization 
there. Early in July, Mr. K. A. Burnell, who had 
been serving the Army Committee in St. Louis as Secre- 
tary, arrived in Memphis as Field Agent, and began a 
very successful work. He remained in the work through 
the war. The ample facilities and constant encourage- 
ment afforded by General Grant and his subordinates 
were of great value. 

In October the Departments of the Cumberland, the 
Tennessee, and the Ohio, were consolidated into one, called 

THE SECOND Vl'.Ai:. I 19 

the Department of the Mississippi, with ( reneral ( Irani in 
command. While in this position he issued, in behalf of 
the Commission, the Special Order printed on page 111. 
Mr. Smith, in giving the history of that order, writes to Mr. 
Boardman under date of Chattanooga, Nov. 18, "I went 
to the headquarters of the Division of the Mississippi 

this morning, with fear and trembling I appealed 

to Genera] Grant, preparing my document carefully, and 
making it general so as to cover all his command. I 
asked for live things, — 1, An endorsement of the Com- 
mission by the Commanding General to his officers, 
authorizing them to give all facilities not inconsistent 
with the public service; "_', Passes for Delegates within 
the lines; 3, Transportation for Delegates and stores ; I, 
I'se of military telegraph; 5, Privilege of purchasing 
of commissary and quartermaster's department, fur the 
use of the Delegates. The General received me easily ; 

rend my papei's with attention ; said an order should be 

issued, covering the points made, as soon as he had 
leisure to prepare it : laid my paper on the Adjutant's 
desk, saying, 'There is a paper to which I wish to give 
attention.' He then directed the Adjutant to make out ;i 
pass and free transportation for me to any part of his entire 
command, till further order, and put his autograph to it. 
I came hack all the way to our quarters with my heart 
full of the first line of the ' Doxology iii Long Metre.'" 
Mr. Smith writes further from Nashville, Dee. 22, 
"General Grant's facilities have given us a new footing 

As already indicated, visits had been frequently made 
among the Western troops, beginning with their very 
earliest engagements, by Delegates from die Army Com- 


mittees and Young Men's Christian Associations of Cin- 
cinnati, Chicago, St. Louis, Peoria, etc. These had 
taken reading -matter and stores, often acting as distri- 
butors for the Sanitary Commission, and ministering 
personally among the men by holding religious services. 
But the movements now briefly described inaugurated 
more permanent and systematic operations. 

It should be noticed here that many of the Commis- 
sion's most successful army agents, who continued in its 
service through the war, began their labors within the 
first half of this year or earlier. To the names men- 
tioned above may be added those of Rev. E. F. "Wil- 
liams, Rev. F. G. Ensign, T. R. Ewing, Wm. A. Law- 
rence, Rev. J. F. Loyd, and H. C. Houghton. Possibly 
there were others. It was the fortune of the Commis- 
sion, which should be gratefully recognized, to be served 
alike in the field and on the home committees by men 
of rare devotion and ability. Both the unsalaried and 
the salaried workers are entitled to this praise. There 
were exceptions, but they were in a very small minority 
and of short continuance, especially among the per- 
manent agents and committee-men. 

The Auxiliary Commission in New York City had 
ebarge of the work in the navy, among the blockading 
squadrons and coast expeditions, in the coast ports and 
the Department of the Gulf, — thus extending along a 
line of two thousand miles, from New York to New 
Orleans, and including about one-fourth of the national 
forces. Their principal stations, beside the New York 
office, were Portsmouth, Va., Newbern, N. C, Beaufort, 
S. C, and New Orleans. These served as centres for 
the prosecution of the work in every direction. Owing 


to the distance of their stations, and the difficulty and 
slowness of transportation, the New York Committee 
employed their Delegates for a period of not less than 
six months, Many of them served for from one to two 
years. They were also paid a small salary and fur- 
nished their own subsistence. Less was done by the 
( fommission in this department in the way of supplying 
sanitary stores, and more exclusive attention paid to the 
distribution of reading- matter and personal religious 
ministrations. Among the permanent agents, while all 
did well, special mention should lie made, because of 
their long-continued services, of Rev, E. N. Crane in 
Eastern Virginia, and Hon. J. V. C. Smith, m. d., in 

New < h'leans. 

Such is a rapid sketch of the field presented to the 
Commission, in the larger cities and towns, and their 
immediate neighborhoods, — particularly along the great 
central war-line, which stretched from Washington City 
to the Mississippi River, — were hospitals, camps, forts, 
etc. Many of these were primary or secondary liases 
of supply for the various armies. These places were 
included in the Commission's plan of operations, which 
conformed itself to the military organization, and were 
superintended by local committees or agents, generally 
acting in co-operation with some General Field Agent. 

With this survey of the army as distributed for work, 
let us look at the arrangements made for its supply, for 
it was felt that organization was quite as essential at 
home as in the iield. Although this organization was 
not very thoroughly carried out during the year, yet 
the necessity was developed, and a beginning was made. 
Experience showed that if the Army Committees within 


a convenient district were charged with the duty of sup- 
plying a particular army with Delegates and stores, the 
supply could be made more constant and regular, and 
the interest for effort at home would be greater. As the 
result of correspondence and conference with the army 
agents and other leading workers, a meeting of the Com- 
mission at large was held in Philadelphia, October 15 and 
16; There were present Geo. H. Stuart, chairman ; Rev. 
Bishop Janes, New York ; Rev. R. H. Neale and Chas. 
Demond, of Boston; day Cooke and John P. Crozer, 
Philadelphia; Rev. M. L. R. P. Thompson, Cincinnati; 
John V. Farwell, Chicago; Rev. Jas. Eells, Brooklyn ; 
Jos. Patterson, Treasurer; Rev. W. E. Boardman, Secre- 
tary. By invitation there were also present the follow- 
ing representatives of the several Army Committees 
named, — J. W. Mclntyre, St. Louis; G. S. Griffith and 
Rev. Geo. P. Hays, Baltimore; D. L. Moody, Chicago; 
N. Bishop and F. G. Foster, New York; E. C. Walker, 
Detroit; Rev. John F. Ernst, Buffalo ; P. B. Simons, 
Philadelphia ; W. Ballantyne, Washington. In addi- 
tion to these the meeting was attended by Rev. Benj. 
Parsons, Field Agent, just I'roiu tbe Army of the Cum- 
berland; Rev. J. F. Sutton, recently returned from 
the Gulf Department ; and Rev. C. P. Lyt'ord, Agent 
at Camp Convalescent. 

The work since the previous meeting in January was 
passed in review. It included the fields of Gettysburg, 
Chickamauga, and many others; the wonderful scenes of 
Camp Convalescent, Annapolis, Nashville, Memphis, 
etc. ; the relief of the famished prisoners at Richmond, 
and the sweltering sufferers before Charleston ; beside 
the regular, growing efforts for imparting bodily relief 


and carrying' the Gospel of Christ throughout the 
armies. All this will come before us more fully here- 
after. During the nine months 822 Delegates had 

been sent out, nearly $200,000 in easli received, and 
disbursements made, including donated stores, etc., of 
over $300,000. While it was devoutly recognized that 
there was very much in the relief and comfort bestowed, 
the lives saved, the hope and courage awakened, the sin 
prevented, and the souls converted, to move the grati- 
tude and thankfulness of all, it was manifest that much 
more systematic and earnest effort would he requisite if 
the increasing exigencies and opportunities were to be 
even approximately met. A general plan of home 
organization and co-operation was therefore adopted, 
after careful deliberation, interchange of views, and dis- 
cussion. The main points were: — 

1. The Central Executive Committee to exercise gene- 
ral oversight of the whole work, with direct control and 
support of the General Field Agents, Assistants, and Local 
Agents. By co-operation from the Auxiliaries of New 
England, Western New .Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, 
Delaware, Maryland, Washington City, etc., the Cen- 
tral Committee wen' also to have immediate charge of 
the work in the Eastern Armies. 

'2. The New York Committee, as already noticed, to 
supply the navy, 1 the coast defenses, and the Gulf De- 

1 Tlir subjoined letfei shews the estimate |>ui upon the Commission's work 
by the naval authorities. Similar instructions were sent to the other navy 
yards, anil were othcially communicated to the Central Office of the Com- 

BuitKAi- op Equipment am> Recruiting, 1 
Washington, February 16, 1863. ( 
Ai'Miu \i.: — 

This Bureau has been charged with the duty of attending to the requisitions 



partment, and to draw their resources from the States of 
New York, Connecticut, and Eastern New Jersey. 

3. The Auxiliaries in Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Indian- 
apolis, and Louisville, to give special attention to the 
Departments of the Ohio and Cumberland. 

4. Chicago, Peoria, St. Louis, Detroit, and Milwaukee, 
to assume similar charge of the troops in Missouri and 
the Department of the Tennessee, with all forces further 
West and South, to the line of the Gulf Department. 

5. Each Auxiliary was to organize local societies in 
its own district, collect funds, and secure Delegates and 
commission them. All commissions, however, were to 
issue from the Central Office, duly numbered and signed 
by the Chairman, — being sent in blank to the Commit- 
tees, by which a full statement of their use was to be 
made. Surplus funds, after paying expenses of Dele- 
gates, purchasing necessary supplies, transportation and 
other local charges, were to be sent to the general trea- 
sury. All supplies needed from the East were to be 
purchased through the Central Executive Committee. 
A system of reports was also arranged, between the 

of the Christian Commission for the Army and Navy, so far as the navy is 
concerned. It is the wish of the Department to have forwarded moral and 
religious works, with hospital delicacies, etc., to the different squadrons in ves- 
sels hound to these squadrons. You will please therefore have the beneficent 
object of the Christian Commission in view, and afford it every possible reason- 
able accommodation consistent with the public interest, and forward such articles 
as it wishes for the temporal and spiritual welfare of those engaged in the 
naval service. 

Please refer to the Bureau applications for passage, which must be made and 
indorsed by some one in connection with the Association. 

The officers of the Society are gentlemen of the highest standing in New 

York. Respectfully, etc., 

A. H. Foote, Chief of Bureau. 
Rear Admiral Hiram Paulding, 

Commanding Navy Yard, New York-. 


home-committees and their army districts, and between 
all these and the Central Office. 

This plan, with modifications and subsequent enlarge- 
ment, was in a general way adhered to during the re- 
mainder of the war. Indeed, no complete and thorough 
organization throughout the country was ever effected, 
although it was approximated by some local committees, 
as for example by the one at Pittsburg. The work was 
too vast, the territory too large, and especially was the 
reliance, properly and necessarily, too much upon the 
voluntary and spontaneous action of the people, to admit 
of rigid and thorough-going organization. But the 
resources and the power lost from want of system were 
largely made up by the heartiness and constancy with 
which patriotic and Christian devotion stood under its 
burdens until the last. 

The details of the year's work in the army are given 
in subsequent chapters. They show a large advance 
upon the preceding year. The total receipts and expen- 
ditures had increased four fold, — the cash alone in a 
much larger ratio. The number of Delegates sent into 
the Held was only a little less than four times the force 
of 1862. A better understanding of the character and 
needs of the soldiers was manifest, in the superior class 
of literature furnished. The weekly and monthly reli- 
gious newspapers, desirable pamphlets and magazines, 
and well-selected libraries of valuable standard books 
were extensively circulated. These labors and benefac- 
tions were shared by the camps, hospitals, forts, military 
prisons, and naval forces. The great battle-fields of the 
year. — including Stone River, Chancellorsvillc, Gettys- 
burg, Vicksburg, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, etc., — 


were of course most prominent among the scenes of the 
Commission's activity, and everything was done that 
their resources rendered possible in relieving suffer- 
ing, and preaching the Gospel to sick, wounded, and 
well, alike among friends and captured foes. One event, 
however, of unusual interest at the time, may be nar- 
rated here. We refer to the relief of our prisoners of 
war in Richmond. The story is briefly and clearly told 
in the subjoined paragraphs from the Annual Report 
for 1863. These might be abundantly illustrated from 
the correspondence of the period, were it necessary or 

Instantly upon the reception of intelligence from Chat- 
tanooga that Rev. John Hussey 1 had been taken, on the 
20th of September, and probably carried captive from 
the Chickamauga to Richmond, inquiry by letter was 
made of the Richmond authorities whether he had 
arrived there, and the answer returned that there was 
" no such man in any of the prisons in and around 
Richmond." The same mail, however, brought a letter, 
dated " Castle Thunder," from Mr. Hussey himself, ask- 
ing the Commission to send him food and clothing to 
relieve him from hunger and cold, and to secure, if possi- 
ble, his early release. A letter was written to Mr. Jay 
Cooke, then at Sandusky, Ohio, to j>rocure a testimonial 
from such of the thousands who had been benefited at 
Gettysburg by Delegates of the Commission, as might 
be found on Johnson's Island, to send forward to Rich- 
mond for the purpose of influencing the release of Mr. 

1 Mr. Hussey was a Delegate, from Hamilton County, Ohio, sent out by the 
Cincinnati Branch. He was taken prisoner while ministering to the wounded, 
just after the battle of the Chickamauga. 


Hussey. Mr. Cooke promptly returned the follow- 

Depot fob Prisoners, i 
Johnson's Island, near Simh sky, Ohio, October 31, 1863. J 

The undersigned, prisoners of war at Johnson's Island, do hereby 
certify that, from their personal knowledge and experience, the Dele- 
gates of the United States Christian Commission, in their Christian 
efforts to relieve the sick and wounded of the various battle-fields, 
make no difference or discrimination between the contending parties, 
relieving alike the sufferings and wants of the Confederate and 
Federal men and officers; and we therefore sincerely trust, that the 
authorities at Richmond and elsewhere will treat any of said Dele- 
gates that may fall into their hands with the kindness justly due 
to them, and grant them a speedy return to their Christian work. 
(Signed by forty-eight Confederate soldiers, mostly officers.) 

Without waiting for the answer from Mr. Cooke, a 
letter was written to Mr. Hussey, stating that an appeal 
for his release would be made to the authorities in Rich- 
mond immediately, upon the ground that he was a non- 
combatant, a Delegate of the Christian Commission, 
taken on the battle-field, where he was under authority 
ministering to the wounded ; that the Delegates had 
always ministered alike to friend and foe; that the thou- 
sands of rebel wounded at Gettysburg had been kindly 
cared lor by them; that the Commission was doing all 
that could lawfully be done for those then in Fort Dela- 
ware, and that testimonials to this effect would be sent 
forward. This letter, as it passed under the scrutiny of 
the Commissioner at Richmond, decided the release of 
Mr. Hussey without delay. The appeal was formally 
made, and the testimonials transmitted; but already, 
before they arrived, the released Delegate was happily 
on his return. Simultaneously with the letter of Mr. 


Hussey, came an appeal to the Commission through 
another channel, opening the way for the transmission 
of food, clothing, and medicine to the suffering captives 
in Libby Prison, Castle Thunder, the Tobacco Ware- 
houses, and on Belle Island. Immediately a box had 
been packed and shipped for Mr. Hussey, which was 
received, not by him, because he was released the day 
before its arrival, but by Captain Conover, of Ohio, a 
fellow-captive and friend ; and with the box for Mr. 
Hussey, a limited hut choice shipment was made of a 
few boxes to Lieutenant W. F. Randolph, in Libby 
Prison, which was duly received and gladly distributed, 
as intended, amongst his fellow-prisoners. This ship- 
ment was immediately acknowledged by General Mere- 
dith at Fortress Monroe, and its safe arrival at Rich- 
mond announced by the following letter from Major 
John E. Mulford, Assistant Commissioner of Ex- 
change: — 

Office Commissioner of Exchange, 1 
Fortress Monroe, Ya.. Novembers, 1S63. J 

Geo. H. Stuart, 

Chairman Christian Commission, Philadelphia: 

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that twenty-one packages, 
addressed "Lieutenant W. F. Randolph, Fifth United States Artil- 
lery, Libby Prison, Richmond, Virginia," and one addressed "Rev. 
John Hussey, Castle Thunder, Richmond, Virginia," containing 
clothing and other comforts, forwarded by the Christian Commission, 
tor the benefit of our suffering prisoners in the hands of the enemy, 
have been received and delivered by me to the authorities at Rich- 
mond, and I trust and believe they have, ere this, found their way 
to and made glad the hearts of many of those for whom they were 

Your noble Association cannot find a wider or worthier field than 
this for its work of benevolence ami charity, nor do I believe any 


other when 1 bo much good may be done, or so great an amount of 
real suffering can be alleviated, as here, even at the cost of redoubled 
efforts and means. 

Should vim desire to make any further shipments, address to the 
party whom you wish to receive and distribute the articles, in care 
of •• Brigadier-General S. A. Meredith, Commissioner fur Exchange 
of Prisoners, Fortress Monroe, Virginia," ami forward by Adams 
Express. On arrival at Fortress Monroe, such packages will be for- 
warded to Richmond via flag- of truce. 

With heartfelt thanks on behalf of the recipients of your bounty, 
I am, sir, very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

John E. Mulfo&d, 
Major inn! Assistant Agent fur Exchange. 

Thus encouraged, the Commission opened its doors to 
receive all that should be offered suitable for the pur- 
pose, and especially for money to purchase articles most 
needed and most valuable to afford the required relief 
and comfort to the thousands of wretched captives. The 
touching and terrible statements made of the condition 
of the inmates of these prisons moved all hearts irre- 
sistibly, and opened the purse of the people to supply, 
without limit, the means of relief. The only question 
was, whether that which should be sent could be pushed 
through and actually placed in the hands of the prisoners 
themselves. The arrival of three hundred and fifty 
men at Annapolis, on the 20th of November, in the 
most deplorable condition, six having died on the way, 
and very many marked for the grave within a few hours 
or days at the farthest, served to increase sympathy and 
cause unbounded indignation. The facts in the case 
were made public, and contributions flowed in apace. 
Stores were purchased, packed, and sent forward daily. 


From day to day despatches and letters from General 
Meredith and Major Mulford were received, and occa- 
sionally an acknowledgment directly from the prisons, 
showing that the goods shipped were faithfully delivered 
and distributed to the prisoners. Efforts, though always 
unsuccessful, were made at different times and in various 
ways, to obtain consent of the Richmond authorities to 
the residence of one or more agents of the Christian 
Commission in Richmond, in the prisons if not else- 
where in the city, to receive and distribute the supplies 
sent. The narrow channel open was evidently clogged 
soon after the tide of relief from the North commenced 
setting in to the rebel capital, and every day seemed to 
clog it still further. It is charitable, and perhaps true, 
to say that the means of transportation from City Point, 
where our lla<r of truce boat delivered all to the flair, of 
truce boat for transmission to Richmond, was utterly 
insufficient for the conveyance of all that came pouring 
in from the open hands of the people in the loyal States. 
However that may be, at last tin' announcement came 
that nothing more would be received, except packages 
from private persons to individual prisoners, and very 
reluctantly the Christian Commission ceased this most 
beneficent work. 

On being released from prison Rev. Mr. Hussey fur- 
nished a public statement of his experiences and ob- 
servations while in rebel hands. As illustrative of the 
times a few sentences are here given. After recounting 
the incidents of his journey from the field of Chicka- 
mauga, Mr. Hussey says : — , 

At length we reached Richmond, and were placed in Castle 
Thunder, where all civilian prisoners, whether Northern or Southern 


loyalists, arc placed. There were aboul six hundred of the former 
iiml eight hundred of the latter incarcerated when we arrived. The 
Southern Unionists are mostly from East Tennessee, North Carolina, 
and Western and Northern Virginia. Included among them, 
however, are citizens from all parts of the South. The prisoners 
receive one meal a day, consisting of half a Loaf of bread and two 
ounces of meat. In all the prisons of the city the same quantity of 
provisions is furnished to the unfortunate inmates. In every other 
respeel they are treated almost like dogs. Theyarenot provided 
with any clothing, except what they may have had upon them when 
captured, nor with blankets or bedding of any kind, but are com- 
pelled to lie upon the hare and filthy Hours. The inmates of Castle 
Thunder, of whom there are two hundred ami liirly mi the upper 
flour, are crowded into apartments so small that they are compelled 

to sleep in parallel rows, to economize space. < Mice every three 

weeks the lloor is scrubbed, when they are allowed to proceed to the 
prison yard for a breath of fresh air and exercise. At no other 
time are they allowed to leave their rooms, upon any pretence whal 

ever. The prisoners never have a chance to wash themselves, as 

neither soap nor water is provided for them. Partly from this cir- 
cumstance, partly from the insufficient supply of food, and partly 
from the foetid atmosphere they are compelled to breathe, diseases 
of the bowels and liver are very prevalent, especially among the 
more advanced in life; and very few, cither young or old, manage to 

maintain any semblance of health. Another cause contributing to 
this distressing result is the lack of clothing, already mentioned. 
Among the prisoners is a man from New York, whose only covering 

is about a yard of rag carpet, and in the eyes of his fellow-sulferers 

his wardrobe is by i leans considered despicable; and another, a 

Baptist minister, is almost naked. Since his imprisonment he has 
heard of the death id' four id' his children ; but, notwithstanding his 

terrible sufferings, he refuses to purchase his liberty by taking the 
oath of allegiance to the < lonfederate < rovernment. These are by no 

means exceptional cases of hardship, but I mention them because they 
came immediately under my own observation. 

The Commission held its public Anniversaries, similar 
to those of the previous year, though having a wider 



interest and greater enthusiasm, in Philadelphia, Jan. 
28, 1864, and in Washington City, February 2. The 
latter was in the Hall of the House of Representatives, 
and was presided over by Hon. Hannibal Hamlin, Vice- 
President of the United States. President Lincoln and 
several members of his cabinet were present, and promi- 
nent men in the various departments of the Government 
took part in the exercises. 

The following statistical summaries for the year, 
clearly show the character and extent of the Commis- 
sion's resources and operations: — 



Joseph Patterson, Treasurer U. S. 

Christian Commission. Cr. 

Jan. 28, 

To balance on hand, as per 

$673 09 
100,797 67 

120,743 91 

Dec. 81, 

By cash paid for hospital 

Dec. 31, 

Cash from various Army 
Committees, in 1S63, as per 

Tabic 11 

By cash paid for publications 

58,230 93 

By cash paid for chapels, 


Cash from various local com- 
mittees, church collections, 

individual sul'MTiptinns, 

9,592 56 

H> cash paid drafts and re- 
mitted to agencies, for car- 
rying on the work in the 

10,454 37 
9,968 05 
4,440 59 

4,958 33 

By cash paid Delegates' ex- 

By cash paid for freight, 

By cash paid salaries at Cen- 
tral Office, and permanent 

By cash paid incidental ex- 

prNM's, poet ay r, udvcrtis- 

By cash paid expenseE of 
By counterfeit and broken 

2,370 82 

43,547 41 


$222,214 67 

$222,214 67 

$43,547 41 









Ladies 1 0. C 






I isi ilia 

New Ynik 

Peoi ii 

Philadelphia, fY. M. C \ 

Pittsjbui g 


St. Louis 

Total for 1863 

Total fur 18612 

Total for 1862 and '63. 

Total rcoetpl 

[868, M 

ancc on hand, 










4,168 1" 















1,6 .1 








. . , 1 ' i ^ 81 

{368 - 19 




{398 399 58 



( LI 





L3 118 



., . 

2S4 63 

1,593 51 

5,806 14 




, 2 





2 16 90 

28,873 40 











-j".. 211 




$305,371 57 

Remitted to 

and purcbo 

.ii a count "i 

Co i 

$li4,r.7il 85 

l 6i 


2."":: 37 
1,286 ''1 
2,300 00 
2,129 15 

14.1102 41 

7.171'. N4 
1,481 05 

•J 4: 7 s 
506 39 

$100,797 67 

Balan. a 

hand !• 

;l hi.; 

■I';. 17 ii 

1,382 13 

i S22 2! 

1,426 68 

•171 S3 

372 7s 

678 2 ; 



[6166 65 

772 80 

17'' 68 

7 i67 • • 

643 99 

l.i i2.i 93 

893,028 "1 



Boxe hipped 
tributed :.i 




Value ni 






3 -"..' 



27 s 




6163.610 24 

2 ..' 

So.12.7 in 
5,155 "4 



l.i II 

26.1 :'." 00 

2.I3UO 00 




















1 '. 1 


1 .-. 



3,100 00 

45,708 79 

300 00 

60 mi 
12.040 00 





S29 '17 
142,150 00 

1 189 


Total for 1862 and '63 

l , 189 


$527,979 n7 

1 1 

Notb, — The boxes' " donated " are those which were received from contributors. The difference 
between the boxes "shipped" and the boxes "donated** will show the amount of Stores and Pub- 
lications purchased by the Commission. 






Cn|iK'S ..1 


11 vim] A' 




inn! [' 

v ■ 

Pages hi 




























32,4 18 
11 :.nn 













1. ii 













Total for 1S63 



37] 859 




.; 160 



2,931 169 



Distributed in 1862. 

Total for 1862 and '63 






.;i'., J.... 





eeiptsatCentraland Branch 

i 289 1:0 

385.829 07 
72.420 00 

45,071 60 
1 677 To 

44,210 00 
9,390 00 

("asli receipts at Centra] and Branch 

S40.160 29 


21,360 00 



Scriptures from amei [can 

Scriptures donated toy the 
American Bible S itj 


& 1 ipturea from Bi Etisn 
and Foreign Bible 80- 

lll.OMl III. 

3,650 00 


:- -_•:;!. -',,ii 2'J 

Totai for 1863 

Total for 1863 

916 837 65 

1916,887 65 

SI ,148.093 94 



The year 1864 was the great year in the history of 
the Christian Commission. About one-half of its entire 
work, as measured by money and supplies received and 
by the Dumber of Delegates commissioned, was accom- 
plished during this year. Its home organization was 
enlarged and strengthened, and its methods in the field 
considerably modified and improved. 

When the spring campaigns opened, the treasury of 
the Commission was well-nigh empty. For the work 
of the winter had been heavy and expensive, and the 
small balance on hand at the beginning of the year had 
been rapidly used. The public mind was largely occu- 
pied by the series of great Sanitary Fairs which were 
being held throughout the country, and it was feared by 
some that the Christian Commission would be forgotten 
by its friends. The impression prevailed among many 
that the Commission's treasury was to share in the liberal 
receipts of the great Fairs, and they therefore thought 
that by aiding the one they were contributing to the 
other. These misapprehensii >ns and necessities led to 
an earnest and successful endeavor on the part of influ- 
ential men, in various parts of the country, to put the 
facts before the Christian public. Acknowledging the 

Hi J 


good services and just claims of other associations, it 
was shown that nothing could he expected to reach the 
Christian Commission's treasury except what was speci- 
fically designated for it, and that the Commission was 
doing a peculiar and needed work, welcomed by the 
army and honored of God, which the church could not 
wisely and safely permit either to cease or to slacken. 
The men who had been in the field as Delegates, and 
who were therefore familiar with the work in all its 
aspects and with the reasons for its continuance, were 
asked to canvass their several communities in its behalf. 
By these and other methods the threatened disaster was 
averted, and the Commission was never after seriously 
embarrassed in its resources. Moreover, the danger 
which had seemed so near was not without its compensa- 
tions. Some of those who were most forward in setting- 
on foot the measures for the relief of the treasury had 
not been previously identified with the Commission, 
although friendly to it as a Christian association labor- 
ing for the welfare of the army. But the peculiar com- 
bination of circumstances put the question before them 
in a new light. The comprehensive ami distinctively 
religious scope of the Commission's work was seen to 
establisb paramount claims upon the sympathies and 
benevolence of Christians, — claims which had not been 
sufficiently considered. So when the issue was fairly 
presented, as it was at this time, these men took their 
places with the Commission, — a valuable gain of per- 
manent strength and influence. 

Early in the year there was a movement toward 
increasing the number of executive officers and members 
of the Commission. The business at the Central Office 

thi: THIRD yi'.ai;. 1<>/ 

had become so varied and extensive as to render it 
necessary that the Chairman and Secretary should have 
official assistance. It was felt also that a. judicious 
enlargement of the Commission and the Executive Com- 
mittee would make them more fairly representative of 
the nation and of its leading religious characteristics. 
Suggestions in this direction were received from various 
quarters, hut tin' matter took immediate shape from a 
meeting held at the rooms of the Commission on the 
11th of April. Rev. Dr. E. X. Kirk and Mr. E. S. 
Tobey, of Boston, had just returned from a special visit 
to the armies before Richmond, and Prof. E. P. Bar- 
rows, of Andover, had been serving as a Delegate at 
('amp Convalescent. Tlie ministers of Philadelphia, 
and others, were invited to meet these gentlemen and 
hear their views of the Commission's labors. A large 
number responded to the invitation, and the interview 
was held at the time and place above stated. After a 
protracted conference, the following preamble and reso- 
lutions were adopted: — 

Having hoard from Rev. Dr. Kirk and E. S. Tobey, of Boston, and 
Prof. Barrows, of Andover Theological Seminary, recently returned 
from the Army of the Potomac, some statements in reference to the 
claims of our soldiers on the sympathies of the Christian Church, 
the efforts that are made through the Christian Commission to admin- 
ister to their temporal and spiritual wants, the facilities which are 
afforded the Agents of the Commission for the prosecution of its 
benevolent work, and the wonderful openings in Providence for the 
spiritual instruction and improvement of the men in the army, and 
also the universal favor with which the Christian Commission is 
regarded throughout the whole army, it is therefore 

Resolved, l. That we feel deeply impressed with the conviction 
that a more interesting and important field for missionary operations 


is perhaps not to be found in the world, and that there is a loud and 
imperative call upon all the Christian churches throughout the land, 
to direct their immediate and serious attention to those remarkable 
openings which God in his providence has furnished to all who desire 
tu do pind tu the souls of their countrymen. 

Htxn/nd, 2. That this meeting earnestly recommend to the Execu- 
tive Committee, to adopt immediate measures for so modifying the 
present organization of the Christian Commission as to meet the 
increasing demands on its labors. 

As the result of these recommendations, and of still 
further conference and correspondence, measures were 
taken for a general enlargement. These were mainly 
carried out during the year, although formal action upon 
a few points was tint reached until the following spring. 
Thi' number of members of the Commission was in- 
creased from twelve to fifty ; the Executive Committee 
from five to seventeen; and two new secretaryships were 
created, one for home organization and one for field 
organization. Rev. Lemuel Moss, of Worcester, .Mass., 
was chosen to the first of these secretaryships, and Key. 
Prof. Bernice D. Ames, of East Greenwich, R. I., to the 
second. 1 The membership of the Commission, and its 
Executive Committee and Officers, may he besl shown 
by the following tabular lists. To make the view com- 
plete, a lew names and dates are given which belong 
to 1865. 

1 A Business i°gent was also appointed, tu lie on duty at the Central Office, 
to superintend the purchases and other business interests of the Commission. 
Rev. A. (l. Mi'Aulev, Pastor of the Fifth Reformed Presbyterian Church, 
Phila.. was elected for this position, in October. lie hail done piod and gra- 
tuitous service for the Commission, in the field and at home, and was well fitted 
fur hi- new duties by his previous experience as a business man. These duties 
had been formerly discharged, without special official designation, by Mr. 
Joseph II. Ogden. 



Members of the 0". S. Christian Commission, in Order of Appointment, with 
Dates op their Election, Resignation, etc. 

II toffon*.— B.,Baptlst;C-. Oongrogntlonalist; L.,Lutheran;G.R. l I ■ d M . Mo- 

pal; M. P., Methodist Protestant; N. S. P., NewScI I Pri bytoi S. P., Old 

Sol LPn byterlan; R P., Reformed Presbyterian j (J. P., United Presbyterian , P. E., Prol tanl Epl copal ; R. D., 

Reformed Dub , 

Charles Del 1 

Rev. Ro lin II Ni il D i' 

Rev. Bishop r s Junes, d. d 

Beivj. I-'. Milll'll" 

Rev. 8. H, l'\ ii. i>. i' 

John I'. I 1 1 .'1 

Goorgo ii i\ Stuart 

II. Thane Miltci 

Rbv. M. I.. R. 1'. 'I'M pson, n. il. 

John V b'nrwoll 

• lull. I I' Hill. M.I. 

Mn. hell II Miller 

Rev. Ii' in i'. Cutler, D. i> 

| in ton 11 iii. 

.' .. i'm.i.' 

Rev. .1. Rolls, n. D 

I:, i w B. Bourdm 

Stcphi n Colwcll 

W I mi 1". DodgC 

Iil'V, II- III III |l\ IT, II I. 

Goldsborough S. Griffith 

Waltci S. Griffith 

,i — pi, Patterson 

i ; . \ i . | ii 

Nathan Bishop, i.l.d 

Will. A. Buckingham 

S Ii i l: i ..Mn II 

\ l! Chamberlain 

Schuvl i i nlfox 

i'i istiu 'hi banks 

William Prow 

Rev. il.:.-. ■.■. n.ii 

Morris K Jesup 

lit. Rev. Bisli I I n. !>,.., 
Itt. Rev. U. P. Mi lln.ii. ... I.. I. 

■ i i H . N i e 

John Owen 

Geo r.i in, .i, 

.1 Ii. Roberta 

K.lwiinl s. Toboj 

Til. mm- \\ attSOll 

Rev, Fi ici H n i land, n. n.* 

Rev. J. Mnlliauser 

Fi in. i- il Pierpoiut 

Hiram Price 

R I. -i lb oi keuridge, D. i. 

Ret . S. ..'in- litis 

.loll n Evan* 

Hornti tea Jones 

Ii"\ . B, i . Inn. in 

K"i .lam. - Pike 

Re, . Km, nt. Roi -l"n 

» mi ' » ill i 

Walter S. Carter 

Prof M i, Sto. .' i I'n. i. 

Rev. Sylvesl i n Storm 

■ i 'lin | .I ' 1 1 5 mini 

II, Hi. I, II 

mill. his. 






i; I' ... 


\. s. p. 

M. E.... 


. S. I'. 

m. i:.., 
i 1 


U. II 

i S. I' 
II s. p 
\ 3 p 
I', i: ... 

G. Il 

v s. P 

II, s. I'. 
M. E 



p. E 

ii. s. i>, 

ii. ii 


i r 

o. s. p., 

i: n 

I'. E 

P. E 

M I 


.I a p. 





M, P ... 

M. K 

ii, S. I'- 

M. e... 



M. B... 


M. B... 

M !•:.. 

I' ... 



\i'\v Y.irk 

\"iv ifork 

N.'iv Vork 



< 'iii.'i.iliali 

I in, lllllllti 


Hull 'I" 



St.] ".:i- 



I adelphia 


N.i. York 

New rork 

Hi. Hi re 

Hi oklyn 

PI Iclphih 


Ni .i V a Ii 

Norwich, Conn 


' in. iiniati 

■in Ii ::■ :. .I I ml 

St. John I'.n i . \ i 


I'i in, nil, V .1 

Nen Vint 

Vi ilii i, ,[., Ii"l 


i 'ai son < 'ii i . Nov 


Bath, Me 

Sun Francisco 

II i n 


i'i ". i'l"i" ' .. 


Alexandria, Va 

Davenport, Iowa 

tiOxfngUm, Ky 

Portland, Oregon 

Denver City, Col 


i ihoska, Minn 

s.mi "i m. ,n Hi 'ge, Nil 
Atchison, Km; 
Morgantow n. w . Va.... 


."in sbur 

\ i, bison, Kansas. 

Dateol i 





l ., 
Nov. I. " 
\.',. I 

V.I 1" 

\", 15 

v., I.. 

Nov. i ... 
Nov. 15, 

\.,i I 

ii,.. in. 
n, , . i" 

Si ,H. 

.lull" 17. 
.hill" 17. 

June 17. 
.Inn..' 17. 

.1 17, 

.l.iii" 17, 
-lull" 17, 
•Inn. '17. 
.lulv 22, 
.Inly 22, 
.i.ih 22, 
.lull- '."J. 
.inii 22 
July 22, 

-i ill V 'JL. 

July 22, 

July --'. 

July 22, 

July '-"-'. 

July '-"-'. 

.lull 22, 

July '-"-'. 

July 22, 

July 22, 

July J.'. 

lull 2ft, 

Inly 29, 

.lull 29, 

Aug. 12, 

Aug. 12, 

lug. 1J. 

\ i.-. 12, 

Aim. 12, 

Aug. 1-', 

In i 

Vug. 12, 

Sept. in. 

Sept. I". 

Sept. -in. 

St. Albans, VI Ian 6 

. 1S61, 
hi, l 
I i I 

July in. 1862. 
ii. . in. 1861. 

I 10, 1861. 

lug. 20, 1862 
July 1, 1865. 

Nov.. 20,1864. 

lug. 20, 1864. 
Sept. .".ii 1865 
Sept. 16, 1864 

Sepl ."'I. 186! 

* Deceased, il." date In t I » , - last column being the date "1 hi- death. 




Members 01 the Execi hye Committee of tuf. l\ s. Chiusti \n Commission, in 
Order of Appointment, with Dates of their Election, Resignation, etc. 

Rev. Bcnj C, Cutler, d d 

Charles Deniond 

Rev. Bishop E. S.Jaues, i>. n 

linn. F Munierre 

Rt'OI I II n I 

.1.1 \ Cooke 

.i.>iin P.& ' 

I;, v w in K. Bourdman, [o 

Stephen Colwell 

Win. !•:. Dodge 

i;r\ ll.' Dyer, n.i> 

Goldsho i' S. 'it iilith 

Walter S. Griffith 

Joseph Patterson 

Re> Bishi p M. Simpson, D. n 

Thomas \\ nttsou 

II i .mi" Giites Jones 

\ . I! I Ii.iiiiI- I Inn 

Juhn V. Karw.ll 

Clinton II. I ok 

William Frew 

P. E ... 

m. h: 

M i: ... 

R. P 

P. E. ... 


n s p 
0. S r 
r i: 
C R 

N. S, P. 
.1 S P., 

M. E 



0. s. p.. 

M. E 

M. K 

I p 

B 1.0 ii 


N'ov, Iforl 

New ifork 

I'llil.1,1. l|.lii:i 


Philndi i < 

Sew Vork 

\i» fork 

Ball iinore 


Philadelphi i 

Philadelphia ..... 

Philadi Iphin 




St. Louis 


Date ol Election. 










■ I 




In il 





1-' i. 




-'". 1862. 
20, 1862. 

July 1.1SG5. 

lug. 20, L864. 

K\iiiii\i Officers of the TJ. S. Christian Commission, in Order of Appoint- 
ment, w n ii Dates of their Election, Resignation, etc. 

George 11. o smart 

I'.. hi F. Manierre 

Ri i \ M. Morrison 

Rl v V in K. llnanliiiaiil 

Benj. K Manierre 

Joseph I'. it' 1 rson 

Rev. Lemuel Moss ... 

Rei Bernice D. Ann- 

Rot. Edward P. Smitli ■! 

p. n.iiiii 
nut s. 

I! P... 

M I 

P. i:. 
n S I 
M. h\. 
S. I 


M. K. 




S ) 



Sei retai yol n. Or- 

gaui: it ioi " 

Secretary .'I Field Or- > 

g mi . it '' 

Seci i i ii * "i Field Or- 

: mi .itnm- 

Date ol i 

Nov. 15, 1861. 

Nov. 15, L861 Feb 17, 1862. 


. ■ - . . 
1862 ' 


Nov. 1 i. 1861 

Sept 1862. 

July 22, 1864. 

July 29, 1864. 
March 18,1865. 

.luh I, 1865. 
Jul) 10,1862. 

Oct. 1. 1865. 

Man it 1, L865 
,i in 1. 1866, 

The Executive Committee, us enlarged and newly 
organized, appointed from its own members four Sub- 
committees* to take direct charge of tbe various business 

1 Although Mr. Boardman's resignation did not take effect until July, lie 
withdrew from duty at tin- office during the preceding March, to engage in the 
work of organizing Ladies' Christian Commissions. 

I'.\ action of the Executive Conimittee, April 1 I. 1865, the names of these 
offices were modified, ami they were called respectively " Eome Secretary" ami 
- I'ii'kl Secretary.." 

Tin: THIRD 171 

matters, viz. : — 1. Home Organization and Finance; 2. 
Field Organization and Work; 3. Publications; I. 
Stores and Stock. The Chairman and Secretary were 
ez officio members of all the Committees, and the other 
members were taken mainly from those members of the 
Executive Committee who lived in Philadelphia. The 
regular meetings of the Executive Committee were held 
weekly; special meetings were convened as circumstances 
mighl require. 

At the meeting of the Executive Committee held July 
'1'2, 1864, when several of the changes above spoken of 

were passed upon, a system of regulations was adopted, 
which will show the judgment of the Commission, as 
determined by their previous experience, concerning the 

details of their great work. The following regulations 
nl'cr to the agents and agencies in the field: — 

1. Agents are to be employed and Agencies established, in the 
field, always and only by vote of the Executive Committee. 

'_'. Salaries are to be determined only and always by the Execu- 
tive ( iommittee. 

:!. All Orders from each field must be given by some ONE rr.RSOX 
whose business it is to attend to it. 

1. All Orders from the field must be sent to one office, which 
shall be designated by the Executive Committee. 

■">. Purchases and Contracts, involving any considerable amount, 
arc tn be made only by authority from the Executive Committee nr 
tin i teneral ( MEcers. 

li. A Record of all Orders must be kept in each field. 

7. As far as possible, the wants of each field should lie antici- 
pated by the person whose business it is tn order supplies fur ii. so 
that there may be time tn till the orders before the former supplies 
are exhausted, — i. e., in time to meet the wants tor which they are 
orden d. 

8. Standing Onhrs fur Weekly Supplies, especially of Publica- 


tions, and of such Food, Clothing, and Medicines as are needed for 
comparatively regular and constant distribution, should be given 
from the field, and recorded at the office from which the supplies are 

9. Such Standing Orders should be regularly filled each week, 
until revoked or changed. 

10. A Property Book or Record should be kept in every Agency, 
containing a complete list of all property, such as tents, stores, horses, 
wagons, harness, saddles, etc., belonging to the Commission. 

11. A Monthly Property Report should be made at the close of 
each month, embracing all the property purchased or received, all 
disposed of, and all on hand. 

1 2. A Monthly Pay Roll should be made out in each Agency, 
embracing the name, compensation, time of service, date of employ- 
ment, etc., of each employe in the field embraced by the Agency: 
and all employes should be paid oft' at the close of each month, 
receipts taken from each person on the Pay Roll, and the Roll sent 
to the Central Office. 

13. A Monthly Cash Statement should be made by each Agency 
tn the office from which the supplies and money for its field are 

The following regulations refer to the care of property 
or slock : — ■ 

1. Purchases of Property or Stock, such as horses, wagons, har- 
ness, tents, stores, etc., can be legitimately made only upon authority, 
special or general, from the Executive Committee. 

2. In each department or field an account must be kept of all 
Stock: 1. On hand; 2. Purchased or received; 3. Sold or sent 
away; 4. Lost, destroyed, or dead; — specifying in whose charge 
and where. 

3. At the close of each month a report shall be made, specific and 
full, from each department or field, by the Agent in charge, to the 
Central Office, of all Property or Stock purchased or received, sold 
or sent away, lost or dead, and of all on hand, specifying where it is, 
in whose charge, and in what condition. 

4. A General Summary of these reports, from all the departments 


or fields, shall be made cadi month, and presented to the Executive 
Committee at its first stated meeting after they shall have been 


5. Inspection shall be made from time to time, by such persons or 
committees as maybe appointed for the purpose, and the condition 
of all the Stock or Property of the Commission ascertained, and 
reported by the inspectors to the Central Office, and brought before 
the Executive Committee. 

(>. An account shall be kept at the Central Office of all Stock or 
Property on hand, purchased or received, sold or sent away, lost or 
dead, in eactf department or field. 

For reasons elsewhere stated 1 the details of home or- 
ganization were left mainly to the Auxiliary Committees, 
to arrange in their own fields according to the special cir- 
cumstances and necessities of each case. They employed 
such canvassing and collecting agents, and for such periods, 
as might seem to them desirahle. There were a few 
Home Agents, however, for holding public meetings and 
making collections, whose salaries were paid and whose 
general movements were directed from the Central 
Office. Prominent among these were Rev. C. C. Mc- 
( labe, whose principal labors were in the West; Rev. B. 
W. Chidlaw, who for a number of months divided his 
time between the Commission and the American Sunday- 
School Union, and who was mainly employed in Ohio 
and the neighboring States; and Rev. Robt. Patterson, 
D.D., who labored East and West. Their services were 
manifold and of great value. Rev. Geo. J. Mingins, 
although his official relations were with the New York 
Committee, did frequent and efficient service for the 
Central Office, both in the Eastern States and in Cali- 

1 See p. 155. 


Prominent in the operations of the year was the pro- 
vision of Chapel Tents for the Eastern ami Western 
armies. To make the history of these tents fully intel- 
ligible it will be necessary to go back a little. One of 
the first wants felt by the army chaplains was that of a 
suitable place for holding religions and social meetings. 
The government did not furnish chapel tents, nor did it 
at the outset provide for their transportation, should 
they he furnished by others. Tt often happened that there 
were tents or barracks, in the hospitals or camps, which 
the chaplains could use, but this was generally depen- 
dent upon the courtesy of the officers in charge. 1 Among 
the questions addressed by Mr. Colyer, in August, 1861, 
to the Chaplains of the Army of the Potomac, 2 this 
matter was introduced. In the replies returned by 
Chaplain A. H. Quint, of the Second Regiment of Mas- 
sachusetts Volunteers, it stands thus: Question, "Have 
you a suitable tent for public meetings?" Answer, 
"No." Question, "Do you think it desirable to have 
one?" Answer, "I doubt it, as we cannot get it trans- 
ported by Quartermaster." It was quite natural, there- 
fore, that the subject of chapel tents"' should come 

1 Chaplain A. M. Stewart, of the Thirteenth Pennsylvania Regiment, writ- 
ing from Camp Scott, York, Pa., May is, 1861, says that inasmuch as neither 
State nor National Government made provision for religious services, and the 
accommodations at camp wort- crowded, a chapel tent was furnished for his 
regiment " hy the advice and liberality of friends in Pittsburg." — Camp, March, 
and Battlefield, p. 7. A portion of the regiments were similarly favored, even 
in those earliest days. 

2 See p. 95. 

3 Under date of Upton's Hill, Va., Nov. 1&, 1861, Rev. John S. Inskip, 
Chaplain of the Fourteenth Regiment New York State Militia, writes to 
the Army Committee of the New York Young Men's Christian Association, "1 
write to inform yon that a new era lias dawned upon us. We can scarcely find 
wonts to express our joy ami gratitude. The chapel tent yon kindly donated 

Tin: THIRD Yi:.\i:. 175 

prominently before the Convention at which the Chris- 
tian Commission was formed; for their great value and 
necessity were manifest, although chaplains might well 
hesitate about assuming the care of such tents, when the 
first movement of their regiments would probably see 
them abandoned or destroyed. It has been seen that 
the Convention voted to memorialize the Government 
touching the matter,' and in accordance with that vote, 
immediately after the adjournment of the Convention, 
the following memorial was prepared and forwarded to 
the Secretary of War, under date of New York, Nov. 
15, 1861: — 

To the Hon. Simon Cameron, 

Secretary of War: — 
Sir: In pursuance of a vote passed at a Convention of the several 
Young Men's Christian Associations of the country, held in this city, 
on the 14th and 15th instants, the undersigned officers of said Con- 
vention would respectfully represent, that from evidence furnished by 
chaplains and others, whose testimony is entitled to full confidence, a 
great want of tents, or other accommodations suited to the purposes of 
religious exercises and social worship, exists in the army, and thereby the 
labors of the chaplains are much embarrassed and rendered irregular, 
and in some instances have been unavoidably suspended, thus depriv- 
ing the soldiers of the moral ami religious influences so indispensable 

to n« has already been the means of inconceivable good to us. It is truly won- 
derful what a decided improvement it lias made in our regiment within on< 
week." Chaplain [nskip gives an account of the uses to which they put their 
tent : — Monday evening, a temperance meeting; Tuesday evening, meeting of 
a literary and debating society; Wednesday and Thursday evenings, prayer- 
meetings; Friday evening, "an amateur concert of miscellaneous music;" 
Saturday evening, a social meeting for singing and informal conversation; 
Sunday, preaching in the morning and evening, and a prayer-meeting in the 
afternoon. 'Plus will serve a8 a fair illustration of the Usefulness of these 
chapel tents. See Rebellion Record, Vol. Ill, document p. 375. 

I See p. loo. 


to elevation of character and efficiency in the public service. In 
view of the foregoing facts, and the interest already evinced by the 
Government in the religious condition of the army, the undersigned 
respect fully request, in behalf of the Convention and the Christian 
public, that such accommodations as have been indicated herein be 
provided by the Government. 

This action aided in directing public attention to what 
now seems an obvious need. As no church could long 
exist without a place of worship, so no regiment could 
expect more than the most meagre religious prosperity 
without possessing some sheltered and convenient place 
that could be controlled for religious uses. 1 Some reei- 
ments were supplied with chapel tents, through the 
efforts of their chaplains, by churches or individuals, 
and many chaplains manifested a great desire for similar 
conveniences, notwithstanding the trouble which their 
possession might occasion. 2 During the very first visit 
of the Commission to the army, 3 Mr. Demond wrote to 
Mr. Stuart from Washington, under date of December 
14, 1861:— 

1 The chaplain of the IT. S. A. General Hospital, Frederick, Maryland, 
writes under date of January 11, 1863: "The one great drawback which I 
experience is the want of a chapel, or some spacious room in which to conduct 
religious worship. The hospital grounds embrace, I am told, fifteen acres, on 
which there are more than twenty extensive buildings; and yet there is no 
place in which I can congregate our numerous convalescents. This is the more 
to be regretted inasmuch as a deep religious interest is known to exist in the 
minds of many." 

2 Rev. J. W. Alvord, writing to Mr. Stuart under date of Washington, De- 
cember 17, 1861, recites the same facts that are given in Mr. Demond's letter 
of the 11th, and adds the gratifying statement, " I have just seen General 
Meigs (Quartermaster-General), who has kindly secured an order from the 
Secretary of War for the transportation of Chapel Tents, whenever any tents 
are carried." 

3 See pp. 108-110. 


Iii my visits to the camps to-day I have found a great desire for 
chape] tents, and have seen some. There are chaplains now who 
have the money on hand sufficient for the purchase of such tents, 
and who are looking to our Commission to aid them in the matter, — 
either by procuring the tents for them or telling them where they 
can get good ones, honestly made, and for a reasonable price. Can 
you not get estimates from some honest Christian sail-maker in 
Philadelphia, who will make these tents at a little profit, and who 
can he relied upon to do the work well? If such a man should make 
lqi a dozen and advertise them, with a reference to you, I do not 
doubt he would quickly dispose of them. 

Notwithstanding the attention of the Commission was 
thus early called to the necessity and value of chapel 
tents, comparatively little was done in furnishing them 
for the army until the autumn of 1863. This delay 
wtis in part due to the excessive demand upon the 
resources of the Commission, which rendered it impossi- 
ble to regard many calls that were alike worthy and 
urgent; and in part to that unsettled condition of affairs, 
already several times referred to, which made all measures 
looking toward long-continued efforts yield to tem- 
porary expedients for immediate relief. In November, 
1863, the Commission had but four chapel tents in the 
Army of the Potomac. In the correspondence between 
the Central Office and Mr. Cole, General Field Agent, 
it had been suggested that the Commission could per- 
haps furnish to each brigade a canvas roof, technically 
called a "fly," as a covering for a chapel, if the soldiers 
would put up the walls. This suggestion was presented 
to the chaplains of the army, at a meeting held in the 
tent of the Commission, Brandy Station, Dec. 26. The 
chaplains thereupon adopted the following minute: — 



"Whereas, The Christian Commission has nobly offered to each 
Brigade of the Army of the Potomac a " fly" for a chapel tent, 
therefore it is by the chaplains of the Army of the Potomac, 

Ii'cxri/ml, 1. That we are most grateful for the offer of the Christian 
Commission, and accept it as one of the many tokens that God has 
raised up this organization to do just what the army needs. 

/,'< solved, 2. That we respectfully suggest to our friends and 
brethren of the Commission, that in many cases a "fly" for the use 
of a regiment will be of vast advantage to the cause of God ; and we 
trust that the Executive Committee will find it possible to furnish 
such " flies" to regiments needing them. 

At the meeting of the Executive Committee held Dec. 
29, it was voted to furnish, " as needed, six chapel tents 
and forty canvas roofs for chapels to be erected by the 
soldiers." The result of this action was all that could 
have been hoped for. Both the regular chaplains and 
the Delegates of the Commission were much helped in 
their work. An unusual religious interest pervaded the 
army. Multitudes were converted to Christ. 1 The 
peculiar adaptation of the Commission to the great 
emergency was seen in a new light. The way had been 

1 Rev. H. A. Reicl, chaplain of the Fifth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, 
writes to Mr. Stuart from the headquarters of the regiment, near Brandy Sta- 
tion, Va., under date of Feb. 22, lsi'>4: — "Your agents here furnished us a 
' lly' t.i cover and a stove to warm the house we huilded to the Lord, and on the 
19th inst. it was duly and formally dedicated to his holy worship. There is a 
good and encouraging degree of religious interest in the regiment. We hold 
divine service at 10J o'clock A. M., Sabbath day; Bible class at - p.m., and 
prayer-meeting at 6 p. M. ; social religious meeting Tuesday evening, and 
prayer-meeting Thursday evening. And these meetings are all well attended, 
and heartily engaged in by the men. We have an excellent choir, consisting 
of twelve or thirteen members, and among them seven commissioned officers, 
with our colonel himself as chorister. The other evenings of the week are 
occupied for lyceum, spelling-school, choir practice, etc. Once or twice a week 
1 go through the regiment, and also out along the picket line, with my haver- 
sack full of the books, tracts, pamphlets, papers, etc., so liberally supplied by 
the Commission, and give every soldier something, which they always gladly 


prepared during previous months, by timely and various 
ministrations to the bodily, intellectual, and religious 
needs of the men. And now the Delegates could go 
"everywhere preaching the word" among those whose 
confidence had been fully gained, and whom the Holy 

Spirit had made ready to receive the gospel. The 
wisdom of mingling bodily relief with spiritual instruc- 
tion was more than justified, — not simply as being in 
itself a needed and must Christian service, hut as a 
powerful aid in gaining access to those whose spiritual 
welfare was the principal motive of the Commission's 
activity. Pastors and others, who visited the army as 
Delegates during the winter of 1863-4, declared that 
their experience was unlike anything known or conceived 
before. There was a religious revival among the soldi' srs 

ami thankfully receive. Anil I am persuaded that by God's blessing much 
•4011. 1 is thus being wrought, for other chaplains arc also doing a similar work." 
In connection with this pleasant picture of religious HIV- in camp, Mr. Reid 
forw ards 

As - Original Hymn, written for the Dedication of the Chapel of /In- Fifth Begi- 
Wiwmsin Ynliini,,,\<, l>ii Ilrr. II. .1. Iln'il, chaplain of thi Regiment, and 
tfutly in cribedtothe '". .v. Christian Oomrm sion, as a slight token of our 
gratitude for Us main/ hind, liberal, and helpful benefits: — 

Thou God of majesty and power, Ami as Thou call's! us forth to Bghl 

Who rulest earth, and sea, and shy. Ourcountry's, man's, and freedom 

( 1 lei Thy favor crown this hour. Lord, lead us, till victorious Right 

And lift our waiting souls on high. Shall give our war worn arms repose. 

lin temple, poor as we arc frail, — grant our righteous cause success, 

An emblem lit ol man' e tate, Thai still our nightly couch may be 

11 Thou who dwell'st within the vail. A. day' march ae r tquered peace, 

To The- in Christ we consecrate. A. day' march nearer 1 and 11 ee 

Accept it. Lord, and let Thy grace And as Thou giv'sl us strength to do. 

Within these walls be fell and known; And hearts to dare, through gain 

Lei soulfl here meet Thee face to t May wc be freedom's soldiers true. 

And 1 1 liv faith mi Thee alone. Nor 1. [diers of the 


which made labors at home seem formal and fruitless, 
and the opinion was expressed, by clergymen of most 
mature and sober judgment, that the prosp>ect was more 
encouraging for the conversion of men in the army than 
oul of it. It was felt to be worth a journey to the army 
to find men who were positively eager to learn the way 
of salvation, and they were found there by thousands. 

It was from tins remarkable religious interest, and its 
influence in the army and at borne, that the demand 
arose for the general enlargement of the Commission, 
which has been noticed above. But more especially, it 
determined the Commission to devise more liberally for 
similar necessities, as their increased resources enabled 
them to do, during the winter of 1864-'5. As the 
armies began their preparations for winter quarters, 
appeals came from the fields East and West for a supply 
of chapel tents and chapel roofs. After making pro- 
vision for several separate requests, the Executive Com- 
mittee, at their meeting of December 13, 1804, voted "to 
authorize the Committee on Field Organization to com- 
ply with the requests from the various fields, including 
those now in process of fulfilment, at their discretion, to 
an amount in cost not exceeding forty thousand dollars." 
The money thus appropriated was expended as the 
winter advanced. The cost of a chapel tent was about 
five hundred and twenty-five dollars, and of a chapel 
roof about two hundred dollars. For some permanent 
stations chapels were built of lumber, and a few porta- 
ble houses, ingeniously constructed, were sent from Cin- 
cinnati to points in the AVestern field. 

In several instances a chapel tent was paid for by a 
church or a benevolent person, the tent inscribed with 


an appropriate name, and frequenl reports sent to the 
donors by those who might be in temporary charge of 
the religious services. The Brooklyn and Long Island 
Christian Commission gave five thousand dollars to pur- 
chase ten chapel tents, and furnished each with a valu- 
able library. The Branch at Cleveland gave one thou- 
sand dollars, and thus provided for two tents. 

The soldiers often showed no little skill and taste in 
constructing their army chapels, making out of their 
rude materials buildings that were neat, commodious, 
and attractive. 1 The dedications of these "tabernacles 
in the wilderness" were occasions of great interest,-' and 
were frequently participated in by the prominent clergy- 

1 Rev. J. T. Duryea, of New York, in an address before a < Ihristian Commis- 
sion meeting in that city, March 15, 1865, gave an account of a recent visit to 
the Army of the Potomac. Among other things he said, in speaking of a Sab- 
bath morning service, "We were gathered in one of those chapels which the 
Christian Commission has built, numbering one hundred and forty throughout 
the army. The logs are piled one upon another, morticed at the corners of 
the building, and the interstices are filled up with cohesive Virginia clay, and 
then over the whole is thrown what the soldiers call a ' fly,' which is a piece of 
canvas covering the tent, and which admits the light but does not allow the 
rain to enter." And again: — "Taking a hasty meal with the chaplain, an 
orderly came with two horses, which we mounted and rode on until we reached 
a chapel built of undressed cedar, in the Gothic style, by a regiment of Engi- 
neers, which, if composed of hrown stone, would have graced any avenue in 
New York. It was thronged with about fifteen hundred people. In one wing 

iv as i group of ollieers, from almost the highest rank in the army to the lieu- 
tenant of companies; and there we had a son of dedication service of thai beau- 
tiful temple to the Most High God." 

ti v. Thos. II. Pearne, of Oregon, who served the Commission as o Dele- 
■ irly in the spring of lsiio, in giving a report of hi- work, writes : Hie 

chapel tents are a crowning feature of the Christian Commission, \i that of 
the regiment of Chaplain Lane, of the 193d Pennsylvania Volunteers, some 
iiinetv soldiers profess to have found the Saviour. At that of the 205th Penn- 
sylvania Volunteers seventy-five professed conversions are reported, all of them 
in both regiment- within five or six weeks. Ii was my privilege to dedicate 

L82 \\\\i.s OF nil: CHRISTIAN commission. 

men of our large cities. The subjoined extract from an 
article in The Methodist, of N>'\\ York, February 25, 
18(55, gives a good statemenl of this feature of the Com- 
mission's operations : — 

The Christian Commission luis had all its en orgies taxed during 
the present winter in its efforts to supply our armies with the Gospel. 
Twenty tents, thirty by fortj feet, oosting betwoon five and sis hun- 
dred dollars, and larger than any heretofore usod For this purpose, 
have been erected al various points in the A.rraies of the Potomao, 
James, Shouandoah, and Cumberland; aboul one hundred and ten 
chapel flies, varying in siie From the enormous sixty b) forty feet 
down i" the twenty bj thirty feet, have been also purohased, to Berve 
as oovers for the numerous chapels erectod by the soldiers themselves 
in the Bold uear their encampments. In the West, in addition to the 
above, several houses have been purchased l>\ the Cincinnati Branch 
of the Commission, and have been Bent forward into the Anu\ of 
the Cumberland, One of the mosl interesting features of the work 
has been the alaority with which the soldiers have entered into the 
undertaking of erecting the walls for their chapels, In some in- 
stances buildings of the mosl beautiful description, charmingly 
adorned with tasteful decorations of many kinds, have been pm up, 
the soldier* Booming to vie with each other in their exertions to make 
their tabernacles in the wilderness as pleasant and happy-looking as 
possible. Ml these ohapels the Commission lm< covered witli sub* 
tantial roofe and supplied with stoves, General Gregory, of Penn- 
sylvania, desoribed with much feeling, :\t the recenl Anniversary 
Meeting of the Commission in Philadelphia, the appearance of the 
beautiful chapel oreotod by his own men, and fitted up, after being 
covered and furnished by the Commission, with all the art and i :<>c •• 
the soldiers were masters of, from rough materials, suoh as pine 
boughs and logs and twigs, whioh wore woven into every conceivable 
pattern for ornamenl and use, Surely these men, who have with 
their own hands built their chapels, will love to gather together 

three of those ehnpel tents during my term of service for the Commission. V 
colonel said to me thai he regarded theiu as doing more good than all iis other 




within these rustic walls, and will sing the high praises of God, and 
send up their petitions, with an earnestness which only soldiers can 

A happy thought of the officers of the Commission lias been to 
interest Christians at home in the success of these chapels, and in 
response to various appeals quite a number of churches throughout 
the country have forwarded to the Commission enough funds to pur- 
chase a lent, which, when erected, has been called after the name of 
the church, or pastor, or by any other title chosen. Two congrega- 
tions in Aeailcmia, Juniata County, Pennsylvania, about the close 
of November last, were the first to adopt this plan, and together thej 
provided tor the erection of the Thompson Tuscarora Tabernacle. 
Three churches in Philadelphia followed, and others in various parts 

of tin untry. One touching incident, in connection with the 

naming of these chapels, is the title given by a merchant of New 
York to one which he had erected in memory of his deceased child; 
it was called "The Memorial Tabernacle." Amino monument of 
profounder significance, or of more beautiful comment upon the 
triumph of life over death, and of the sweet remembrance of the 
dead, could be thought of. 

The Christian Commission to-day is engaged in a work of church 
extension which is absolutelv unparalleled in any other field of 
Christian effort. It is a new thing under the sun that one hundred 
and thirty houses for the worship of God can be put up within a 
few weeks, and stranger still that in every one of these bouses ser- 
vices can be held, far surpassing any that we hear of at home, not 
every Sabbath only, but every night in the week, anil three times mi 
the Sabbath besides. 

A description of the chapel at Meade Station has been 
preserved, as written at the time of its erection, and is 
here given in connection with the excellent pictures of 
its exterior and interior. Meade Station was situated on 
what was called "General (Jraut's Railroad," and Wits 
therefore not tar from the front. The chapel was 
erected in the winter of 1 sc» 1— '->. A corresponded of 
the Sunday-School Times thus describes it : — 


Nothing in this region has excited so much interest among the 
soldiers as the United States Christian Commission Chapel, erected 
by the soldiers, under the supervision of Lieutenant Thomas Char- 
tres, of Brooklyn, N. Y., the efficient Agent of the Commission for 
the Ninth Corps. Thousands from all parts of the army have come 
to this station to see this gem of the battlefield. Visitors from the 
Xorth, East, and West, do not think of departing without entering 
it. The chapel is twenty-three by forty-three feet, having on the 
front a porch six by seven, mounted with a belfry and spire fifteen 
feet high, made of small pine poles, arranged in squares and trian- 
gles, so as to present a very beautiful piece of rustic work. The 
front door is ornamented with the same style of work. The flag of 
the Commission floats above the whole. The body of the chapel is 
a stockade, made in the following way : A trench two feet deep is 
dug. of the exact size which the building is to be: pine logs, about 
ten inches in diameter and twelve feet long, are split in the centre 
and hewn ; these halves are erected side by side in the trench, the 
hewn side within, and fastened in their places by the earth. The 
gable ends are filled with pine poles running on an angle with the 
rafters ami meeting in the centre; the crevices between the poles and 
halves are plastered up with the "sacred soil," which effectually 
keeps out wind and water. The whole is covered with a canvas. 

The inside is furnished with a floor of rough pine hoards and 
seats of the same material, without cushions or back to entice the 
occupant to sleep. The ceiling and walls are as fresh-looking and 
neat as the white canvas above and the split pine around can make it. 
The rafters are trimmed with cedar evergreens and holly, having 
a wreath suspended from the centre, causing the ceiling to present 
the appearance of a beautiful arbor; three poles, wound with ever- 
greens, hang from the ridge pole, from which are suspended kerosene 
lamps; a border of evergreens and holly decked with its bright red 
berry, a foot wide, hangs around the walls. The front gable end is 
covered with evergreens of various kinds, promiscuously arranged, 
having in the centre the corps badge, — a shield bearing a cannon 
ami anchor, — surrounded with a wreath. The rear end has a back- 
ground of white muslin; three wreaths adorn it, the centre one 
being brighter than the others, and festoons hang in graceful curves 
between and beside them. The left hand wreath has a blue hack- 



ground, bearing in white letters the word "9th;" the centre 
wreath lias the corps badge, with a rod back-ground ; the right 
hand wreatb lias a white back-ground, bearing in red the letters 
"A. ('." Arranged in the are of a circle, over the centre wreath, 
is the sentence, "god is love." The letters are made of cedar 
tips. The pulpit is a breastwork, live feet wide, having a column 
on each corner, and a few inches back of each are other columns. 
The columns and spaces between are richly ornamented with pine 
rods, so artistically arranged as to present one of the most novel and 
beautiful pulpits ever preached in. It was constructed by Mr. Lewis 
Cole, a private of the Nineteenth New York Battery. 

A small .-pace of ground around the chapel is fenced in with poles. 
hung with pine boughs; walks lined with young trees divide the lot 
into squares. There is such a quiet home-like appearance, without 
and within, that the soldiers love to assemble here to worship the 
God of their fathers. Every night this chapel is crowded with earn- 
est and inquiring souls, and from its altar goes up constant incense 
to the Lord of our country and the Saviour of our souls. 

Iii selecting a detailed illustration of the services held in 
the Chapel Tents, the choice is made difficult by the num- 
ber at hand, each well worthy of preservation. The follow- 
ing is taken as coming from a distant portion of the field. 
It is from a letter addressed to the New York Committee, 
under date of Morganzia, Louisiana, January 5, 1865: — 

It has been in my heart some days to give a more detailed report 
of lie- work of the Commission in connection with tin' chapel tent. 
It affords facilities for the distribution of reading-matter and sani- 
tary Stores. My circulating library is quite an institution in itself. 
Here are about six thousand soldiers in camp. They find much 
time for reading. I am happy to say that many of them appreciate 
and improve the opportunity. At the same time, the tent is fitted 
up for religious meetings. This seemed to be needful ; first, from the 
fact thai SO lew chaplains are in the service (only one at this place 
now i ; second, the soldiers need a rallying point, around which they 
can gather for devotions, especially in the months of the winter. 


Sunday evening, October 9,1 commenced an evening meeting, which 
has been continued with growing- numbers and interest to thi> time ; 
preaching on Sunday and "Wednesday evenings; prayer-meetings 
other evenings; Bible class Sunday forenoon, largely attended by 
officers and men. 

The prayer-meetings have been most effective. Friday evening, 
Oct. 28, there seemed to be a solemn spirit prevailing; on invitation 
to the thoughtful and anxious, to the surprise of some, nine soldiers 
rose for prayer. Since then there has been a constant revival. Not 
less than twenty have received salvation in connection with these 
meetings. At no time has the work appeared so deep and hopeful 

as at the present. Some cases have been of special interest The 

testimonies of pious soldiers in meetings are truly edifying. < >ne was 
converted seventeen years ago, amid storm and tempest, in the moun- 
tains of Virginia; another thanks God that he was converted on 
the broad prairies of Iowa ; another on Pine Creek; another in a rude 
chapel in Kentucky; ami another at his bedside in Massachusetts. 
Nearly all bless God for praying mothers. In a word, these meet- 
ing.- are of thrilling interest, great occasions, — sometimes as many 
outside as inside the tent. There is the most perfect decorum. I 
confess that my heart is warm as I write. To me it is a luxury to 

serve such a cause The boys now propose to build a chapel, 

in addition to my tent, so that we will be better able to accommo- 
date the large numbers who desire to attend the meetings. 

This extended reference to the chapel tents of the 
Christian Commission may be properly concluded by 

the testimony of Dr. George T. Stevens, Surgeon of the 
77th Regiment New York Volunteers, in his work en- 
titled Three Years in the Sixth Corps, p. 300: — 

The Christian Commission, among other good things which it did 
for the soldiers, and this was among the best, made arrangements by 
which it loaned to nearly every brigade in the army a large canvas, 
to be used as a roof for a brigade chapel. These chapels were built, 
of logs, ami were covered with the canvas, and were in many cases 
large enough to hold three hundred people. Here religious services 


were held, not only on Sundays, but also on week-day evenings. A 
deep religious interest prevailed in man} of the brigades, and greal 
numbers of soldiers professed to have met with a change of heart 

Several features in the operations of the Commission 
were either introduced during this year or were advanced 
to greater prominence and influence than before. Chief 
among these were the organization of Ladies' Christian 
Commissions, as a part of the home machinery, and the 
sending of a Deputation to the Pacific coast ; and in the 
army the establishment of Special Diet Kitchens for the 
very sick in hospital, the enlargement of the service of 
" Individual Relief," and the management of day schools 
for the colored troops. But these will more properly he 
recounted elsewhere. 

A Convention of the Western Branches of the Com- 
mission assembled in Indianapolis (in Wesley Chapel), 
on Tuesday, November li'.», and continued in session three 
days. All the Auxiliaries West of Pittsburg were repre- 
sented by many of their best men, as were also the prin- 
cipal stations of the Commission in the Western armies. 
Rarely has such a gathering been more strongly charac- 
terized by earnest attention to business and by a spirit 
of Christian devotion and harmony. All felt that (iod 
ha«l committed to them, as stewards, the most important 
trusts, and that they were animated by common desires 
and aims. Interesting reports wen' made from the 
various home districts. The work in the army was 
passed in review. Plans were laid for more efficient and 
systematic co-operation. The hearts of all were quick- 
ened and refreshed by the opportunity furnished for 

Christian intercourse, and by the renewed consciousness 


of being engaged in one of the noblest enterprises of 
patriotism and Christianity. The battle of Franklin, 
Tennessee, took place during the sitting of this Conven- 
tion. Immediately upon adjournment, a number of the 
members left for Nashville to assist in caring for the 
wounded, and remained until after the fierce and decisive 
engagement at that jdace. 

The condition of our prisoners, held as captives at the 
South, engaged a large share of public attention during 
the year. The reports of destitution, cruelty, and fright- 
ful mortality, in the principal military prisons of the 
South, roused intense indignation throughout the North, 
and an equally strong desire to send relief to the unfor- 
tunate and maltreated men. The rejiorts heard were 
confirmed by the testimony, and more convincingly by 
the starved and suffering condition, of those prisoners 
who returned North upon being exchanged or paroled. 
Many died on the passage, or soon afterward. A care- 
ful investigation of the current reports, with an exami- 
nation of many of the prisoners shortly after their re- 
lease, by an able committee of professional men acting 
under the auspices of the U. S. Sanitary Commission, 
substantiated the worst public rumors. The Christian 
( nmmission, as has been seen in the previous chapter, 
was ready and eager to render such assistance in this 
matter as might be within their power. Early in Octo- 
ber, 1864, the Commission was memorialized by several 
prominent clergymen and others, of Brooklyn, New 
York, in behalf of the Brooklyn and Long Island Chris- 
tian Commission, and urged to appoint a National Com- 
mittee, to whom the whole subject should be referred, to 
make thorough investigation of all the facts in the case, 


and to devise, if possible, some method of relief. After 
some delay, for deliberation, consultation, and corres- 
pondence with the Government and with influential cit- 
izens, the proposition from Brooklyn was favorably en- 
tertained by the Executive Committee, and the desired 
Committee was appointed. It afterward seemed best, in 
consideration of the action of the Government and the 
Sanitary Commission, that the course of the Christian 
Commission should be somewhat modified. Instead of 
entering upon a formal investigation, it was determined 
that the Commission should at once endeavor to send a 
deputation to the Southern prisons, to carry and admin- 
ister to the prisoners, from the stores of the Commission, 
such relief as might be practicable and permitted. Ac- 
cordingly the following letter was addressed to the See- 
retary of War: — 

U. S. Christian Commission, Central Office, 11 Bask Street, 1 
Philadelphia, October 31, 1S64. J 

Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War: — 

Dear Sir: Permit me, in accordance with instructions from the 
Executive Committee of the United States Christian Commission, to 
inform you that we are very desirous of reaching the Union prisoners 
in Rebel prisons with efficient reliefand benefit. And for this purpose 
we propose asking the so-called Confederate authorities to admit a 
suitable number of unexceptionable Delegates of this Commission, with 
stores and publications, to visit and minister to our prisoners. Will 
there be any impropriety in this? Will the national interests be in 
any way prejudiced by it? Will the Government permit us to assure 
the so-called Confederate authorities that, if desired by them, the favor 
will be reciprocated ? 

With highest respect, your obedient servant, 

Geo. H. Stuakt, Chairman U. S. C. C. 

To this request the War Department replied as 
follows : — 


Was Department, Adjutant-General's Office,'! 
Washington, December 7, 1864. J 
Geo. H. Stuart, 

Chairman U.S. Christian Commission, Philadelphia, l'u.: — 
Sir : The United States Christian Commission, of the city of Phila- 
delphia, having expressed its desire to send a suitable number of un- 
exceptionable Delegates of the Commission, with stores and publica- 
tions, to visit and minister to the Union prisoners in Southern pri- 
sons, with efficient relief and benefit, and Lieutenant-General Granl 
having approved the plan, permission is hereby granted to the Com- 
mission to send a number of good Christian men for the object pro- 
posed, whose names and residences, and the points to which it is 
proposed to send them, will first be communicated to the Adjutant- 
General of the Army at Washington. In return, authority will be 
granted, if desired, on application to Lieutenant-Genera] Grant, to 
proper Christian Agents of the South, to visit and administer to pri- 
soners taken in arms against the United States, and held in our prisons. 
I am sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

E. D. Townsend, Assistant Adjutant- General. 

Under date of December 21, Mr. Stuart wrote to Col. 
Townsend: — 

U. S. Christian Commission. Central Office, 11 Bane Street, 1 
Philadelphia, December 21, lsi',4. / 

Col. E. D. Townsend, 

Assistant Adjutant- General, Washington, D. C: — 
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your favor 

of the 7th instant, in answer to the request of the United Slates 
Christian Commission, to send their Delegates, with stores and pub- 
lications, to our soldiers in Southern prisons. Allow me to thank 
you for the favor with which that request has been entertained, and 
for the kind terms in which your reply is expressed. 

.... I would also, as you ask, forward the following names of 
gentlemen, with their residences, whom we propose sending upon the 
designated errand. They have signified their readiness to go, and 
most of them will doubtless be recognized by you as prominent 


Christian men, most loyal and true. The names are, lit. Rev. C. I'. 

Mcllvaine, d.d., Cincinnati, Ohio; Rt. Rev. Alfred 1 i>.i>..' 

Wilmington, Delaware; Rev. E. S. Janes, i>. n., New York; Rev. 
Win. A.dams, n. i>., New York; Mr. Norman White, New York; 
Geo. II. Stuart, Philadelphia ; Horatio < rates Jours, Philadelphia. 

A- to the points where ii is proposed to send them, we cannot par- 
ticularly specify. The continually changing field of the war, and 
the changes made and liable to be made in the location of Southern 
prisons, renders such specifications difficult if not impossible. I 
would therefore respectfully ask that they be granted general permis- 
sion to visit the Southern prisons, — the particular places to be left 
to the necessities and exigencies of the case and their own judg- 
ment, — always premising that upon this, as upon every other point 
in the undertaking, we wish any direction and suggestion you may 
be pleased to give. 

I am sir, with great respect, your obedient servant, 

Geo. II. Stuart, Chairman U. S. C. C. 

Col. Townsend replied as follows: — 

War Department, Adjctam ' - 1 m ral's i Iffice, ) 
Washington, Jiznwary 5, 1865. I 

Geo. II. Stu let, 

Chairman U.S. Christian Commission, Philadelphia, Pa.: — 
Sir: 1 have the honor to inform you, that a copy of your letter 
of December l!lst having been sent to Lieutenant-General Grant, he 
has signified his approbation of tin 1 gentlemen named therein for the 
purpose of visiting our prisoners confined in Southern prisons. 

The Secretary of War directs me to say that either or all of the 
gentlemen named, as follows, on presenting themselves to Lieutenant-* 
General Grant, at his headquarters near Petersburg, will be per- 
mitted, on the General's pass, and under such instructions as he 
sees lii to give, to go through the enemy's line on their mission. 
[Here follow the nanus, as above given.] 

I am sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

E. I>. Townsend, Assistant Adjutant- General 

' Bishop Lee was appointed as the alternate of Bishop Mcllvaine. whose 
mi, n -i in the matter was very great, but who felt unable to take part in it 
personally. Other distinguished gentlemen were also chosen, bul their duties 

would not permit them to accept the service. 


The gentlemen named wove at once instructed to 
hasten forward on their errand, and were each furnished 
with the following 


U. S. Christian Commission, Central Office. 11 Bank Street, "> 
Philadelphia, January, 1S6S. / 

To all to whom these Presents shall come: — ■ 

Greeting: The United States Christian Commission have 
appointed and commissioned 

a Delegate, to proceed to Richmond, Va., and to such other 
places in the South as may be accessible to him, to relieve the wants 
of the Union prisoners now confined in the Southern military pri- 
sons, by distributing among them food, clothing, medicines, and 
religious publications. 

He is strictly enjoined to abstain from reporting anything not 
allowed by the authorities of the places he may visit, and to do no 
act that shall bring discredit on the cause in which ho is engaged. 

All possible facilities and all due courtesies are asked for him, in 
the discharge of the duties assigned him. 

Geo. H. Stuart, Chairman U.S. Christian Commission. 
Attest: W. E. Boardman, Secretary. 

Bishop Janes, Bishop Lee, and Mr. Jones forthwith 
set forward, — Dr. Adams, Mr. Stuart, and Mr. White 
holding themselves in readiness to join their colleagues 
should the way to the South be found open. On the 
14th of January, Mr. Stuart advised General Grant of 
the coming of the deputation. General Grant replied 
by telegraph : — 

City Point, January 19, 1S65. 

Geo. H. Stuart, Chairman U. S. C. C: — 

Your letter of the 14th just received and read. When the gentle- 
men you speak of arrive they will be sent through the lines, if no 
objection is made on the other side. 

U. S. Grant, Lieutenant- General. 


The resl of the story may be besl told by the official 
report of the Delegation: — 

Report of th< D i of the 17. S. < Christian ' bmmiasion to visit Federal Prisoners 

of War confined in Southern Prisons. 

To the Executive Committee 

of tin U.S. Christian Commission: — 
Gentlemen: The undersigned, the special Delegation appointed to 

proceed to Richmond and other places in the Southern States, to vi.-ir 
and minister to the Federal prisoners of war now held in confine- 
ment, have the honor to report. That they left their homes on their 
important mission on Wednesday, January 17, 1865, and arrived at 
Fortress Monroe, via Baltimore, on Thursday morning. They pro- 
ceeded at once to City Point, Ya., the headquarters of the armies of 
the 1 nited States, ami soon after their arrival addressed a letter to 
Lieutenant-General Grant, who expressed his readiness to receive the 
Delegation at their own convenience. We accordingly called on 
tin General, and were favored with an interview which lasted over 
two hours. We were most cordially received, arid our documents 
were read with marked interest. The General said that he would 
give us every facility for carrying out the object of our mission, and 
promptly placed at our disposal the steamer " Mohansett," giving 
special orders to have it start by daybreak the next morning, so as to 
reach Colonel Mulford, our Assistant Agent of Exchange, at Varina, 
not far from the enemy's lines, before he should leave to meet Com- 
missioner Ould, the Confederate Agent of Exchange. General Grant 
also furnished us with a letter to Colonel Mulford, and one to Com- 
missioner Ould. With the latter, he enclosed the authority under 
which \\o were acting. The following is a copy of his letter to Colonel 
Ould: — 

Headquarters Armies ok the Unites States,') 
January 1'.'. I -'v. i 
Cm.. Ro. Oft. ii. Agent of Exchange : — 

S Enclosed I send you the names of a number of gentlemen, who have 
been selected by die I'. S. Christian Commission, to go South, lor the purpose 
of visiting such prisons as they may be allowed to visit, containing Federal 
prisoners of war, and to see, for the body of which they are members and for 
the public generally, their condition ami circumstances. Three of these gen- 
tlemen arc Mow, here waiting your action. 


I will state, that any privilege yon will grant in this matter will be extended 
to an equal number of gentlemen sent from the South for similar purposes. 
Should this favor be granted, it will probably serve to satisfy the friends of 
prisoners, both North and South, of the exaggeration of the reports of suffering 
so rife in both sections. 

I would respectfully ask a reply to this at your earliest convenience. 

Very respectfully, 

U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General. 

We went on board the steamer that same night, and reached 
Vaiiiia, or Aiken's Landing, early on Friday morning, and ealled on 
Colonel Mulford, whom we found on the flag-of-truce steamer "New 
York." We delivered to him the letters furnished us by General 
Grant, and also the following communication, addressed by your 
Delegation to General Lee : — 

Flag-of-Trcce Boat. ) 
.Tames River, January 20, 1865. i 

Gen. Robert E. Lee, 

Commanding Army qflfprthern Virginia: — 

General: The undersigned have been appointed by the United States Chris- 
tian Commission, to visit the Federal prisoners of war now confined in the 
military prisons at Richmond and other places in the South. 

It has been one of the primary objects of the Christian Commission to minis- 
ter to the spiritual and bodily wants of sick and wounded soldiers and sailors. 
Your own suffering soldiers, on the battle-field, in hospitals, and in prisons, 
have often been the recipients of sympathy and aid from the Delegates of our 
< lomrhission. 

We respectfully ask from you a safe conduct to and from your military 
prisons, to enable us to accomplish the object of our appointment. The under- 
signed are civilians, and the Christian Commission is a voluntary association. 
Should our request be granted, we are ready to give such assurances as may 
properly be demanded of us. 

Awaiting your reply, we remain, General, 

Your obedient servants, 

E. S. Janes, 
Alfred Lee, 
Horatio Gates Jones. 

The whole of these documents were forwarded at an early hour to 
Commissioner Ould, and were in Richmond that same day. Satur- 
day proved to be very rainy, which delayed the expected answer, 


but about :! o'clock r. m., Colonel Mulford returned from his inter- 
view with Colonel Ould, and handed us the following letter, viz.: — 

Office 0\ S. Assistant Aervr ruu K\( hance ok Prisoners, | 
I i \(. ..I- I'm ce Steamer "New Ychik." [• 
Varina, James River, Va., Jan. 21, 1865. > 
Rev. BlSHOF E. S. .Tanks, d.d!, 

l.'i. Rev. Bishop;ki> Lee, d.d., 
Horatio Gates Jones: — 

Qenikmen : I liave the honor to inform yon that I am directed by the Con- 
federate authorities to notify yon, that they deem it inexpedient to grant your 
request, for permission to visit the Federal prisoners held by them, at this 
time. Your communication will doubtless he answered by letter at my next 
interview with the Confederate Agent for Exchange. If so, I will promptly 
forward the same to you. 

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Jno. E. Mvlford, 
L/.-Col. and U. S. Assist. Agent/or Exchange. 

We returned that night to City Point, and reported al General 
< ; rant's headquarters. 

From conversations with returned prisoners and officers of the 
army, and from information gained from other sources, we are 
profoundly impressed with the importance of the object which the 
Christian Commission had in view, in the appointment of this Dele- 
gation to visit our suffering soldiers now confined in the South. We 
did hope to be permitted to visit our prisoners and personally minis- 
ter to their temporal and spiritual comfort, and deeply regret the 
failure of our attempt to do so. This regret, however, is somewhat 
lessened by the fact, which was communicated to us by General 
Grant and Colonel .Mulford, that our Government, under a recent 
arrangement, is already sending forward supplies of such articles as 
are most needed by our prisoners; and also that, under the same 
arrangement, the Christian Commission can send to them a reason- 
able amount of reading-matter, — which we recommend should be 
immediately done. Although the present attempt to reach our 
prisoners has not been successful, yet in our judgment this failure 
ought not to discourage a similar application at another time. 

During this visit of the Delegation, we availed ourselves of every 
opportunity that offered to observe the workings and operations of 


the Christian Commission. At City Point, on the night of our 
arrival, service was held in the new hospital chapel, by Bishops Lee 
and Janes, the latter preaching to about four hundred soldiers. 
While at Varina, awaiting a reply from Richmond, Col. Mulford 
kindly furnished the Delegation with an ambulance and a proper 
escort, and we were conducted through the greater part of the Army 
df the James. We visited various stations of the Christian Com- 
mission in this army, which we found in a flourishing condition, with 
their new chapels ready for use and some already dedicated. The 
Delegates whom we saw at our stations, in both armies, appeared to 
be men who understood their work, and were deeply interested in the 
spiritual welfare of the soldiers. They reported to us that large 
numbers of our brave men attend the meetings in the chapels, and 
that many evince a deep religious feeling. We were also gratified to 
learn that brigade schools have been established by our Delegates 
among the colored troops, and that great anxiety on their part is 
manifested to improve the advantages thus extended to them. 

Our Sunday was spent with the Army of the Potomac. Bishop 
Janes officiated at the headquarters of Brigadier-General Edgar M. 
Gregory, where he dedicated the brigade chapel, and also preached 
at City Point at night. Bishop Lee conducted the opening services 
and preached a sermon, in the new chapel at the headquarters of 
Major-General Meade. At night Bishop Lee and Mr. Jones attended 
service at the large hospital chapel near City Point, and made brief 

From our personal observation, and from the testimony of the 
officers and soldiers with whom we had the opportunity of conversing 
freely, we are persuaded that the Christian Commission is carrying 
out the object of its organization very acceptably and effectively, 
and that great spiritual and temporal benefits are being conferred 
upon the army and navy- We also express it as our judgment, that 
the considerable amount of funds expended in providing chapels 
for the army has been wisely employed, — these chapels being indis- 
pensable, at this season of the year, to the maintenance of public 
religious services on the Lord's day and at other times. 

We desire, in closing our Report, to express our grateful acknow- 
ledgments for the unwearied kindness and courtesy extended to us 


l)y Lieutenant-General Grant, Colonel Mulford, and all other officers 
of the army with whom we had business or whom it was our pri- 
vilege to meet. All of which is respectfully submitted. 

Edmund S. Janes, of New York. 

Alfred Lee, of Wilmington, Del. 

Horatio Gates Jones, of Philadelphia. 

W \siu\croN, B. C, January 26, 1S65. 

The letter of Colonel Quid, referred to in the fore- 
going report, was afterward received, and was furnished 
to the Commission by General Grant. It is as follows: — 

Richmond, Va., January 24, 1865. 

Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant, U. S. A.: — 

Sir: Your communication of the 19th instant, enclosing the names 
of a number of gentlemen who have been selected by the United 
States Christian Commission, to go South, for the purpose of visiting 
our prisoners, has been received. You further state that any pri- 
vilege granted in the matter would lie extended to an equal number 
of gentlemen sent by us for similar purposes, and that such action 
might probably serve to satisfy the friends of prisoners, both North 
and South, of the exaggeration of the reports of suffering so rife in 
both sections. 

< )n the 24th of January, 18(54, in a letter to Major-Genera] Hitch- 
cock, Commissioner of Exchange, I proposed that a proper number 
of surgeons, to be selected by their own Government, should be per- 
mitted to attend prisoners on each side respectively, for the purpose 
of taking charge of their health and comfort, receiving and distri- 
buting contributions, and making report, of any matters relating to 
the welfare of the parties under their care. Although just one year 
has elapsed since the date of that communication, no answer has 
been returned. 1 have no doubt but that the persons referred to in 
your letter are very respectable gentlemen, yet they are certainly n<'t 
as well suited to minister to the wants of prisoners as accredited 
offici rs, whose routine of duty makes them peculiarly lilted to relieve 
the sick and wounded. I therefore respectfully suggest that your 
application be so changed as to embrace my offer, so long treated 
with silence. I am quite confident that all the interests of humanity 


will be promoted by the modification. It is true that your prisoners 
are suffering. It is one of the calamities and necessities of the war, 
made so not by our choice. We have done everything we can 
consistently with the duty we owe to ourselves. We intend to do 
the same in the future. But that great suffering must ensue, 
if your prisoners remain in our hands, is very certain. For that 
reason I propose that all of them be delivered to you in exchange, 
man for man and officer for officer, according to grade, for those of 
ours whom you hold. Will not the cause of humanity be far more 
promoted by such a course, than even if, as you suggest, the friends 
of prisoners, both North and South, are satisfied of the exaggeration 
of the reports of suffering so rife in both sections? If, however, 
prisoners are to remain in confinement, at least let us mutually send, 
to their relief and comfort, stationary agents, whose official duty 
requires them to devote all their time and labor to their sacred 

For the reasons stated, I decline the proposed visit of the gentle- 
men to whom you refer. In doing so, I shall be glad to hear from 
you whether either of the alternatives presented meets with your 
favor. Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Ro. Ould, Agent of Exchange. 

The general extent and character of the Christian 
Commission's operations during the latter part of this 
year, are briefly and clearly set forth in the following- 
letter from Mr. Stuart to Mr. Tobey : — 

U. S. Christian Commission, Central Office, 11 Bank Street, 
Philadelphia, October 27, 1864. 

:ET , 1 

4. ; 

Edw. S. Tobey, Esq., 

Chairman Army Committee, Y. M. C. A., Boston: — 
Dear Sir: Mr. Rowland writes me, under date of yesterday, that 
you wish to know " what are the peculiar reasons for calling for fur- 
ther contributions of money, — what special reasons for further 
efforts."' I gladly respond, and avail myself of this opportunity to 
offer for your consideration the following facts, showing the imme- 
diate and prospective needs of the Commission. I take the present 

THE THIRD YEAR. 1 • »'• » 

scale of expenditure as the basis of an estimate for the next six 
months, which will bring the work to the first of May. 

1. The calls are urgent from every part of the great field for 
more Delegates. Mr. Cole telegraphs for thirty immediately at 
City Point; Mr. Abbot writes for nearly as many at Washington; 
Mr. Tisdale wants help at Fortress Monroe; Mr. Miller make- an 
earnest appeal from the Shenandoah; and the cry comes from the 
entire circle of stations. Not less than three hundred men should 
lie kept permanently in the field. This simply to work our stations 
as they now are, without the enlargement which " winter quarters" 
may abundantly offer. 

2. Our general expenditures last month were over 8180,000. 
This month they will equal if not exceed that amount. But if the 
monthly general expenditure from this office, for the next six months, 
be $150,000, we shall need for this alone, before the first of next 
.May, the sum of $900,000. 

3. Our newspaper distribution, as a necessity, has been increased 
to 400,000 copies per month, which is not, even with this increase, 
an adequate supply for the demand. These, at three cents per copy, 
will cosl $12,000 per month, or $72,000 until May. 

4. Libraries for hospitals anil gunboats, which should have been 
furnished long ago, — three hundred in number, — will cost $25,000. 

5. Chapels and chapel covers, for use during the winter, at least 
i. lie hundred, will cost $30,000. 

6. Our Diet Kitchens, now in operation in the West, will call for 
$10,000 per month, and if our expectations are fulfilled in multiply- 
ing these kitchens, by introducing thcin into the Eastern armies, this 
sum must he doubled, — or $120,000 fur the next six months. 

7. A single order is before us, principally to answer demands 
from the Missouri invasion, for one thousand shirts, one thousand 
pair drawer-, live hundred pair socks, with other articles, — costing 
in all $10,000. 

These facts show that, at the very lowest estimate, we should have 
not less than one and a quarter millions of dollars i sU ,2."i0,()(l(l i 
before the first of May next. We should also have a large margin 
for the rapidly multiplying opportunities and demands for extending 
our work. Of the nature and need of this work there is no occasion 
to say a word to you. The strongest argument is in the sober and 


solemn figures that I have given. Immediate measures should be 
taken to bring this matter before every community, congregation, 
and Christian in New England and the country. No Christian can 
be unmoved or inactive in view of such unprecedented obligations 
and opportunities. Yours faithfully, 

Geo. H. Stuart, 
Chairman U. S. Christian Commission. 

Two documents of unusual interest were published 
during the year, — one coming from the church at home 
and the other from the army, — both making their aj3- 
peal for more earnest endeavors in preaching the Gospel 
to the soldiers. They are here reproduced in full, be- 
cause of their representative character and permanent 
value. The first is the " Pastoral Letter" presented at 
the meeting of the Massachusetts General Association 
of Congregationalist Churches, June 23. It was pre- 
pared by Rev Alfred Emerson, of Fitchburg, and Rev. 
E. P. Smith, General Field Agent of the Christian 
Commission in the Army of the Cumberland : — 

Dear Brethren: — The record of the Church of Christ becomes 
more and more eventful with every passing year. Each new event 
evolves new responsibility. Especially is it so amid the death 
grapple with slavery and rebellion, which is now taxing the resources 
of the nation to its utmost. 

It cannot, therefore, be inappropriate to call to mind in this letter 
some of the duties which the passing history of the kingdom of our 
Lord makes imperative upon us, as churches and disciples. 

Look at some of the farts. The young men of the land are in 
arms. Many of them will return no more. They who do come 
back are to tone and shape society, for at least two generations. For 
nut a few of them would be men of mark at any time. And for the 
rest, with three to five years of momentous living, tew will return to 
be ordinary men. And then we must remember that in coming 
years, as never before, the prestige of life in the field is to give infill- 


ence among the American people. Thus the future as well as the 

present is ill the hands of the Army. Now these young men are in 
a condition at once very perilous and very hopeful. Dear brethren, 
do they not claim at our hands a large increase of interest and of 

Two opposite accounts come from the army. One is of increased 
recklessness, the other of peculiar susceptibility to religious influence. 
Both are true. The first feeling of a recruit is freedom from re- 
straint. He is a soldier now, — not a citizen, nor a son, nor a father, 
nor even a man, — but a soldier. He becomes reckless, wicked. 
But, after a few months in the field, amid its narrow escapes, the 
graves of his comrades, its wounds and sickness, not (infrequently in 
utter disgust at the extreme wickedness of others, he begins to feel 
his loss cf character, and to hunger and thirst for something better. 
Speak kindly to that man, of Christ and of eternity, bring him in 
at a soldier's prayer-meeting, and none so eager as he to listen, or so 
ready to obey. 

Thus it has come to pass, that the character of many of our older 
regiments has become wonderfully changed for the better, as years 
have passed on. The men have yielded to wise and happy Christian 
influences'. Those have become humble followers of Christ who 
scarcely ever entered the sanctuary at home. The infidel and the 
scoffer have bowed before the cross. Thus too we have to record the 
remarkable fact, that Christian effort the past year has been far more 
fruitful in the camp than in our own cities and villages. Still 
strange contrasts are seen in the army, of gaming and psalm-singing, 
of prevailing sin and abounding grace, of prayer and profaneness, — 
Mich profaneness as we never hear at home, such prayer as the 
churches know nothing of. In the army there is such faithful, fear- 
less piety, as we can scarcely find in the world beside. The truth is, 
virtue there has its hot-bed as well as vice. One campaign is an 
ordinary life-time. In such circumstances character, good or bad, 
matures with wonderful rapidity. It is as when lava is pouring from 
the bosom of the volcano. In an hour it takes form, not to be 
changed till the heavens are no more. Thus the army is not only 

the hope of the nation, it is also the field of destiny to hundreds of 
thousands, and, as suggested already, in no small degree of the 
country itself. 


How important, then, at this hour, the work that we have to do 
for the soldier, and how full of hope. In the words of one a few 
weeks since in camp : " The army has hecome a missionary field 
of the most extraordinary character the world has seen. Nothing 
is like it or has been like it in the world. The Church has a 
work to do in respect to this which she does not half appreciate. 
She must awake to far more earnest effort, far more efficient co- 
operation than she has yet rendered. The incentives to action are 
the strongest that can be presented, — the salvation of multitudes 
who could never be reached before, of multitudes who can never be 
reached again, a wise care for the vast interests of the future depend- 
ing on the spiritual condition of the returning troops. Shall they 
come back to be a blessing or a curse? — as soldiers usually come, or 
as Cromwell's did, to be foremost in every good enterprise?" 

Our work for the soldier is urgent too. It must be done quickly, 
if at all. It cannot be deferred. Soon he will lie on "his gory bed," 
or he will be a soldier no more. We can toil for him to-day. To- 
morrow it will be too late. 

And, dear brethren, let us never forget, that the soldier's claims 
on us are high and peculiar. Certainly we must not neglect or 
undervalue any other field of Christian enterprise. We must not 
relax our endeavors in behalf of the Christless at home and abroad, 
the Catholic, the freedman, or the slave. Still, we say that the 
claims of the defender of our country are high and peculiar. Thev 
far outrun every other of humanity, of brotherhood, of Christian 
philanthropy. We owe him a debt if gratitude, which many lightly 
appreciate, but which ive can never pay. His body is the ram- 
part which holds back the deluge of war from our homes. His 
valor makes possible this peaceful life in our communities. All we 
have his valor makes our own. And, oh, at how stern a sacrifice ! 
Every endurance on the field and in the hospital, every torture in 
the rebel prison, life itself, — this is the cost to him. The man who 
dies for us! Can the claims of any other be compared with his? 
Passing in a moment away-, shedding his blood for us, are we not 
solemnly bound, if we can, to make it sure that for the soldier the 
precious blood of Jesus shall avail in the last solemn day? 

As thoughtfully we weigh all these considerations, is it not plain 


that ton for the soldier*, — for all the defenders of our country, 

whether by sea or land, — is the duty of the present hour? 

And hffW is it to be done? Through every instrument, every 
agency God has put into our hand. 

Let faithful chaplains know, and let their regiments be made to 
feel, that the chaplain is the representative to them of the piety and 
sympathy of the churches. Let choice reading for gratuitous distri- 
bution be furnished with overflowing liberality, so that the hungry 
soldier shall never ask in vain for the bread of life. Let every fol- 
lower of Christ faithfully observe the concert of prayer for the 
country, on the fourth Sabbath evening in every month. And 
thence for the soldier let .such fervent petitions rise as Grid will not 
disregard. There and everywhere, let there bo such earliest interest 
in the soldier's welfare as shall show our gratitude to him and to 
God for what he has done, — our deep concern in what still lie has 
to do. 

Many young men in the army are gone from our churches and 
congregations. As individuals let these be warmly remembered by 
ministers ami Christian friends. They are out of sight, they wander 
in out-lying pastures, yet still they are of the flock and the fold. 
Do they not need, may they not claim, special interest and special 
oaro of those beside the still waters at home? Mariy of our Chris- 
tian brethren have been absent for years. Could anything be more 
proper, more salutary in itself, more grateful to the heart of the 
war-worn veteran, than words of Christian counsel and cheer and 
affection addressed to him personally by his pastor, by the church 
to which he belongs? Where is the church that has done its 
whole duly in respect to those dear absent brethren, — its lighting 
members ? 

The Christian Commission is an instrumentality born of the times 
and already sealed of God. It is the indispensable complement of 
every oilier agency. It cheers the chaplain. It aids him in giving 
the Word of ( ioil to those longing for intellectual and spiritual food. 
It carries the prayers and alms, the piety ami the solicitudes of the 
sanctuary and fireside, every comfort in its power, to bring directly 
lo our sons and brother,- in camp and hospital, on pieket-post and 
in line of battle. To nun gathered ill groups its Delegate brings 
a fresh invoice of home religion. Hi- sympathies are warm and 


gushing, and he speaks of Jesus and danger and duty as no other 
man can speak. His words are re-enforced by the most tender 
associations, and they awaken memories that keep up the sermon 
long after preaching is over and the camp-fires are gone out. Won- 
derfully have these efforts been blessed of God. Chapel tents and 
shady groves in Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia, have witnessed 
revival scenes unknown before even in this land of revivals. 

The Delegates say, on reaching their field, " I had no conception 
of the blessedness of this work ;" " The churches do not understand 
it ;" " It is apostolic ;" " I feel as if I were treading closer in the 
Master's footsteps than ever before;" "I have been thinking all day 
of that judgment welcome, ' Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of 
the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.'" 

So Delegates speak. And the permanent agents, who have been 
toiling in the field from the beginning, are amazed that the churches 
do not wake up to their duty and their opportunity. Thanks be to 
God for what has been achieved. But the whole army has not been 
reached ; far from it. Wickedness abounds. In multitudes still, 
officers and men are becoming more hardened and reckless. To 
many old regiments the bread of life has not been offered. Ten new 
ones a week are going into the field. Thousands of men are falling 
every day. What we do for the soldiers must be done quickly, now. 

Brethren, sustain the Christian Commission. Give it the largest 
possible efficiency. It is one of the best organized, the most economi- 
cal, the most needed, the most successful agencies that ever cheered 
the heart of benevolence, or brought relief to man's temporal or 
spiritual necessities. Give it a large place in your heart and in your 
contributions. Let its treasury overflow till its work is done. If 
possible, send your pastor as a Delegate, and fill his hands with gifts 
for the soldiers, your token of love and gratitude to men who are en- 
during and perilling everything for you. His short absence, amid 
the appalling scenes of war, will prove a blessing to him and to the 
flock to which he ministers. May lie, as others have done, he will 
bring back from the army the spirit of revival, the richest gift of 
Heaven, to the people of his charge. 

Dear brethren, by our faith in God the issue of this struggle is not 
doubtful. It seems now not far distant. But whether distant or not, 
amid the fearful scenes that yet must come, by every means in our 


band, let us be faithful to the soldier. With'God's blessing; these 
noble men shall give us back our country, with all its affluence of 
good. They shall rid our laud of the curse of centuries, and establish 
universal freedom. They shall make the American name a praise and 

a blessing in all the earth. Theyshall send down the wise and happy 
institutions of the fathers to the remotest times. Dear brethren, when 
this fearful contest is over, and multitudes have returned to share 
with us the fruits of their valor, — while other multitudes sleep in the 
shadow of the mountain and the forest, beside the hamlet and the 
river which their heroic deeds have made immortal, — may we be 
happy in the consciousness that, as in tin eye of God, we have been 
faithful to them in every tender human solicitude, every earnest 
endeavor for their eternal welfare and the Master's honor. 1 

The second document referred to was addressed to the 
( 'hiistian Commission by a surgeon attached to the Head- 

1 Similar expressions of confidence in the Christian Commission, and similar 
appeals in its behalf, might be cited from the action of all the evangelical 
denominations in the loyal States. Nut to multiply these testimonials, one 
will he given as representative of all. The following minute was passed by 
tin General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, Old School, at its session 
for 1864, in Newark, New Jersey: —"This General Assembly would ex- 
press their full confidence in the United States christian Commission; their 
earnest sympathy in ami unqualified approbation of the great and noble objects 
it has in view, their high admiration of the heroism which has been manifested 
by its officers, agents, and Delegates, through much sell-sacrificing devotion to 
the physical and spiritual wants of our armies and navy, in the camp, on the 
march, on battle-fields, and in hospitals; their praise of the economy and 
extraordinary efficiency with which its vast ami widely -ex tended operations have 
been conducted; and their gratitude to Grod for the success which, through his 
lil. — in-, lias attended its efforts. "While the < iencral Assembly has nothing to 
say, except in terms of cordial approval, of all properly conducted organized 
benevolent enterprises in behalf of the noble and often suffering, men, who on 
land and sea are defending our national liberties, integrity, and honor, against, 
a powerful and atrociously wicked rebellion, but would bid all such I iodspeed, — 
for, alas! there in work enough for all, — they would, and hereby do, in asp. end 
manner, commend the United States Christian C mission to the liberal sup- 
port and encouragement of all their churches ami congregations, ami of all the 
individuals and families comprising them, ami invite their warm co-operation 
with it. Having the entire confidence and favor of the government, ami ol the 


quarters of the Army of the Potomac. It attracted, as 
it deserved, great attention, from the official position of 
the writer and from his impressive and earnest plea for 
the gospel : — 

It has never been my pleasure to have the opportunity of listening 
f (i the claims of the United States ( Ihristian Commission, as presentee! 
by any of its agents. Almost constant field service during the war. 
has precluded the possibility of my becoming acquainted with the 

feelings of Christians North towards the Commission. How do you 
estimate the importance of its operation ? If the results of its work 
have been communicated, very great interest must have been excited 

1 liar, however, that the sympathy of the churches in the workings 
of the Commission is not proportionate to the interest they may t'eel 
in the result of its labors. I am led to infer this from the fact, as I 
have learned, that it is very difficult to secure, not money, but the 
services of the right kind of preachers, tin- the must limited period 
prescribed by the regulations of the Commission. What is the rea- 
son of this V One might inquire if it be from lack of patriotism ; but, 

military authorities throughout tin- land ; having unsurpassed, it" equalled, 
facilities for the conveyance and application of the benefactions of a freely-offer- 
ing people to those for whom they are designed ; and, as its chief excellence, 
entitling it to the high regard of Christians, having as its eminent aim and 

effort to care for the souls of our soldiers and sailors, both officers and privates, 
supplying them with religious reading, preaching to them the gospel of Christ, 
with untiring love watching and praying by and with the suffering and dying, 

ami directing them to the Mood which cleanses from all sin; while it is not 
behind any other association in the zeal and energy with which it seeks to re- 
lieve the physical wants of the sick and wounded, the wearied anil naked and 
hungry; — we invite all to make to it and through it liberal donations of 
money and sanitary stores and religious hooks and tracts. Ami we would 
urgently ask that large donations be made speedily, for the need of them is im- 
mediately great and pressing. Tens of thousands of the sick and wounded are 
now in the hospitals, and must not be left to any suffering which human means 
can relieve or prevent. And mighty battles are yet probably to be fought, and 
other thousands will have to he ministered unto. Let liberal offerings be made 
at once, to be followed frequently by others still, as long as this war shall keep 
in tin- field our sons, husbands, and brothers, and friends, and countrymen." 


whenever I have been North, I have found my Christian friends 
there especially anxious that this war should be fought out to the 
bitter end. In every prayer-meeting I heard most earnest prayers 
offered for the efficiency of our armies, for the spiritual as well as 
the temporal good of the soldiers, — especially for the sick and 
wounded of their number. Is not this patriotic? Is it not very kind 
that the soldier should he thus remembered? Then look at the dona- 
tions that arc made to the Christian and Sanitary Commissions. Are 
they not magnificent specimens of beneficence? It would seem so. 
All these arc certainly most commendable, and were the like done in 
behalf of any other cause it would lie marvellously virtuous. But 
in this ease, suppose all should pray for the country, make donations, 
and hope that the war would lie vigorously prosecuted, and do nothing 
more. If that would do the work, how gladly would our brave sol- 
diers do all this over and over again, in lieu of the terrible hardships 
and exposures of their present life, nor think themselves either patri- 
otic or benevolent. 

In order to maintain this great and holy struggle, it is necessary 
that a certain aggregate number of citizens shall be in the field, 
denying themselves of all that is desirable in life while they live, 
and ready in any moment to sacrifice that for which a man will give 
all that he hath. It would be very difficult to select those who, 
more than some others, ought to make this sacrifice. My country is 
equally your country, and your country is equally my country. The 
object for which we are lighting is equally dear to each, and is 
common to all. Every citizen owes, if need be, his lite to his coun- 
try. If, to avert from all a general danger, certain particular citi- 
zens nobly volunteer their services and their lives on the battlefield, 
would you call it benevolence when some of the rest, who are to 
-hare equally the reward won by the heroic few, donate a few dollars 
to relieve the hardships of their brave defenders'.' Do they not OWE 
everything they have, even to their very lives, to those who are 
lighting their battles, though under no more obligation to do so than 
their fellow-citizens, who practically have not sacrificed onus accus- 
tomed luxury for their country's good? Are not all citizens, and 
especially Christian citizens, not in the army, under the deepest 
obligations, demanded alike by common gratitude and justice, to 
contribute all that may lie expedient to promote the benefit of tie-- 


noble men who soon may lie heavily and cold on the bloody field, 
for them? And yet there are some very patriotic churches which 
"don't feel able to spare our pastor, to preach to the soldiers in the 
army, for more than two weeks at most," although meanwhile good 
supplies might be obtained to preach quite as usefully at home. 
The cushioned seats would remain quite as soft, and the temperature 
of the building would be just as nicely regulated, as if the pastor 
preached in his accustomed place. 

Not a week ago I heard a Christian soldier state, in one of our 
camp prayer-meetings, " I have been in the army three years, and 
this is the first privilege of this kind that I have enjoyed." All this 
time the brethren of his own church had not been deprived of a single 
service in consequence of the war. They had, indeed, prayed for 
their brethren in the army, but did not feel able to spare their pastor 
to go and preach to their brethren in the army, though they were 
spiritually starving and dying in defence of the religious luxuries 
of those staying at home. I am sure it is only necessary for the 
churches at home to get a correct view of the facts, to secure the 
most prompt and unreserved co-operation with the Commission in 
every particular. 

Having held official positions in the field, both East and West, 
which allowed of very extensive observation, and having never in 
airy way been connected with the Commission, my opinions concern- 
ing it are perfectly independent ; they are presented on my own 
responsibility, in the hope that they may help the churches to form a 
just appreciation of their duties and the privileges in connection 
with the work under consideration. 

The advantages which the army offers during the winter, as a 
field of Christian labor, are unparalleled. At vast expense we send 
missionaries to preach the Gospel in China and India, where, before 
one idea can be communicated to the people, weary months must be 
spent in the study of the language. After this is partially acquired, 
through innumerable difficulties, the missionary succeeds in collect- 
ing perhaps an audience, here and there, of children, women, and 
men, of by no means the most intelligent class. The good work is 
one eminently of faith and patience. The city pastor has an audience 
alike composed of different classes and grades, of such variety that 
on many subjects it is difficult to address more than a small per 


rentage of the audience directly at the same time. Then there are 
many who are too young, and many others too old, to afford much 
probability of successful fruition of the seed, no matter how earn- 
estly ii may have been scattered. All, whether young or old, and 
of every cla>s, are more or less pre-oeeupied by the various occupa- 
tions and excitements of city life, tending to preclude meditation on 
divine things. If that pastor visit the army, as a Delegate of the 
Christian Commission, he may go from one end of the line to the 
other, ;niil throughout the entire army he will rind but one style of 
audience, and that of the best possible class, in this, — it consists 
almost exclusively of young nun. They possess good average intelli- 
gence, are not pre-OCCUpied, are not harassed by family cares, they 
are provided for, they have simply to obey orders when they come, 
and in the interim have to endure so much wearisome monotony that 
many, who would not take the trouble to attend church when at 
home, would now gladly listen to anything or anybody. 

The soldier's life, though not favorable for reading, is very con- 
ducive to reflection. The drum beats, and he awakes or gets his 
rations or pies to lied, as the case may be, until it beats again. 
Without need for further thought or care, he is (in winter quarters) 
" as if he were a boy again." His life is thus favorable both to 
attention and reflection. Of similar age, with common pursuits and 
dangers, the soldiers have common tastes and feelings. What is 
adapted to one suits all. The soldiers are willing to hear the truth. 
I have never attended a meeting held by the Christian Commission 
that was only half full. As a rule they are overflowing, even where 
they arc held every evening in the week. It seems impossible to 
have meetings conducted in the uniform style so common in the 
churches North. Always, after the first few meetings, a spirit of 
deep interest is awakened, taking on the character of what is termed 
a revival. This, I think, is attributable to the fact that the majority 
of our soldiers have once been under the influence of Sabbath 
schools or Christian homes, so that the buried seed has only to be a 
little watered and it springs up with a freshness that is truly reviv- 
ing to witness. It matters not how profane and irreverent they may 
have become) with the soldier as with the sailor, the memories of 
home and the Sabbath-school are very sacred, and even though 
nothing that is said may in itself interest them, there is always one 


certain clue, — let something be said which shall awaken their early 
associations, and their feelings are immediately enlisted. They will 
never " go back," as they term it, on their " bringing up." At home, 
should they be addressed on the uncertainty of life, youth and grow- 
ing strength form a never-failing shield on which these admonitions 
are received; but here, touch that point ever so delicately, and every 
word brings up visions of dead comrades and hair-breadth escapes, 
to supersede any argument on that question. Death is to them as 
much a reality as life. 

The condition of the soldier exhibits an advantage for the recep- 
tion of truth, like to that which grows out of bereavement. Bo long 
has he been absent from those he loves he begins to think of them 
with those who were dead long ago; and as at midnight hour, 
beneath the silent stars, he keeps his lonely watch, he comes, more 
than other men, to feel the want of something to love. In this 
yearning mood the soul is very apt to feel after Clod. Many facts 
have I met with of soldiers coming off picket much wiser and much 
happier than when they went on. How, then, is it we have been 
accustomed to consider the life of the soldier so conducive to profli- 
gacy ? Because it is so. "When the tide of feeling, rising in the 
soldier's bi-east, is not taken at the flood by kind counsel and Chris- 
tian sympathy, it bursts in scattered foam and dissipation. When 
reflection but starts accusing voices, its spell must be broken by loud 
oaths, the troubled spirit must be soothed by drink. Therefore is it 
that most urgent efforts should be made to surround the soldier with 
every possible religious influence, seeing he is so easily saved from so 
much. In the absence of these privileges, the men are, week after 
week, and perhaps month after month, lying crowded in winter quar- 
ters, the intolerable ennui relieved only by a mutual exchange of all 
the filthy garbage that the vilest may have scraped from the filthiest 
kennels of human depravity. The fearful corruption thus engen- 
dered is truly appalling, rendering the atmosphere too often totally 
fatal to the last spark of youthful virtue. 

If the Christian Commission fail to do the work it contemplates 
it will be left undone. During the winter it is impossible to have 
religious services in the open air. Yet there is not a tent in the 
Government service, to my knowledge, provided for this purpose. I 
cannot conceive of anything in which a benevolent Christian can 


make such a good investment for Christ as in the presentation of a 
chapel tent to the army. 1 have never seen one in use anywhere 
but it became, not only the occasion of deep awakening, but also 
inevitably a centre round which, in various camps adjoining, a work 
of grace would commence. Besides one or two at each corps hos- 
pital, there should be one for every brigade in the army. There is 
no other source, except the Commission, through which reading of 
any kind, except daily news, will reach the soldier. In no other 
way hut by an organization of this kind, recognized by the churches 
and by the Government, can chapels, Christian laborers, and reli- 
gious reading, lie provided in any measure ; as under no other cir- 
cumstances could the necessary transportation, posses, ami mail 
facilities be obtained. 

Are there not chaplains commissioned on purpose to do this 
work? Yes, but with some of the regiments only. In the Fifth 
Corps, which I suppose is as well supplied as any in the army, 
there are to-day thirty-seven regiments which have no chap- 
lain. Then, as in every other corps, there is a brigade of artillery, 
there are independent batteries, division field hospitals, ambulance 
trains, wagon trains, and all the various headquarters, none of which 
are allowed chaplains at any time. For all this work there are only 
six Delegates and two chapel tents. Besides, supposing there was a 
superfluity of chaplains, what could they do, comparatively, without 
chapels, books, tracts, etc.? In the Second Corps there are to-day 
thirty-eight regiments without chaplains; besides all these, the 
separate commands in it detailed above. With this corps there are 
now but three working Delegates. All the regular troops that have 
hi en in the army of the Potomac, with the exception of one regi- 
ment, have been totally without chaplains, even to bury their dead, 
ami within a hundred miles of Washington have been less cared for 
than the recognized heathen. There is a base hospital near City 
Point for many thousand patients. Shall that be supplied with 
chaplains, by transferring them from the few regiments which have 
them? Su far as the magnitude of the operations of the Commis- 
sion is concerned, it would seem that the presence or absence of a 
few chaplains, more or less, should scarcely be taken into account. 

'fhe Delegate of the Christian Commission has many advantages, 
lie is subject to no restrictions, except those made in the division "l 


the labor by the Commission. If he is not well received in one 
place, he can walk a few steps further on to another camp. A mis- 
sionary in Pekin would meet with about as much limitation. He 
has no military orders to give or to obey. He is understood to be 
working for the good of the soldier, not for pay ; this is a free pass 
to the soldier's heart. He comes full of fresh enthusiasm, which is 
exceedingly refreshing and encouraging, especially to the sick soldier. 
It does him good to see the clean, smiling face of a civilian, and he 
likes to tell him of his many adventures; it seems so neighborly. 
Then comes the mutual sympathy, followed by the gracious word 
dropped into the open heart of the grateful soldier, who is made 
happier for the coming week by the friendly interview. If the 
Delegate happen to come from the same county as some of the men, 
they feel just like school-boys when visited by a relative from their 
distant home. The effect is more cheering than any grown-up people 
at home well understand. 

The kind of Delegates most needed are not good readers of ser- 
mons. The real, main work of the Commission must be done by 
steady, hard-working, faithful Christian men. The most desirable 
combination, for a good Delegate, would he a happy faculty of ex- 
temporaneous discourse with cheerful conversational qualities. There 
are in the army a large number of officers and men of very high 
intelligence, who, prior to entering the service, were accustomed to 
the best pulpit talent in the country. For three or four years they 
have heard but a few occasional sermons, and would seem to receive 
new life could they but hear once more the inspiring words of their 
old pastor. Why cannot the best men in the country visit the army 
occasionally, and encourage the brave men in the performance of 
those duties they once urged them to undertake? Are they not 
deserving of it ? Would our comfortable brethren at home be thus 
making a greater sacrifice for us than we are making for them? It 
is very desirable that our Christian brethren, who are eager for 
young men to enter the army, should, as far as possible, share their 
burdens after they are in it, and thus in our common cause manifest 
a common sympathy of Christian patriotism. 

The church which sends its pastor to the army as a Delegate will 
not lose anything. The advantage is a mutual one. The change is 
often very beneficial to the health of the Delegate. It opens to him 


a new world, enlarges his knowledge of men, of a thousand tilings 
which he failed before to comprehend, furnishes him with a new field 
for illustration, and quickens his zeal for the salvation of men. He 
preaches over graves here, and he feels that men are mortal. He 
exhorts men daily to come here to die, and they sit before him in 
their grave-clothes. The prayer-meetings in the army are not tame, 
formal, weakly meetings; they are as real as life ami death for sin- 
cerity and earnestness. I can compare them only to the old Fulton 
Street daily prayer-meetings during the great revival, and they must 
contribute to the benefit of the pastor as well as of the soldier. The 
Holy Spirit seems to be secretly working, in anticipation of the 
co-operation of God's servants. Both at City Point and nearer the 
front sinners are coming to Christ, not like stray sheep but as doves 
flocking to their windows. During the ensuing winter the field will 
be fully available ; it seems ripe for the harvest, and waiting only 
for the church to thrust ill the sickle. From what I have seen, I 
think there is a universal eagerness for religious truth in the army 
which is beyond all precedent. This is a work which demands no 
mean offering. It deserves not only the money of the church, but a 
liberal contribution of its best talent and of its most faithful pastors, 

as the demands of the Commission may require. 

B. H, U. S. A. 
Headquarters, Army Potohac, November 21, 1S64. 

The Annual Meeting of the Commission was held in 
Washington City. The business sessions were in the 
house of the E Street Baptist Church, beginning on 
Thursday, January 26, 1865, and continuing three days. 
There were present nineteen members of the Commis- 
sion, including eight of the Executive Committee; nine- 
teen Branch Commissions were represented ; and a 
Dumber id' the Permanent Agents at home and in the 
tinny were present. The operations of the previous 
year were reviewed; the action of the Executive Com- 
mittee in the enlargement of the Commission, as well as 
in the general management of atl'airs, was approved; the 
Annual Report, with its statistical exhibits, was pre- 


seated ; congratulations were interchanged and solemn 
thanks rendered to God, that in the midst of the terrible 
scenes of civil war so much had been done to mitigate 
its horrors and temper its severity ; sentiments of Chris- 
tian brotherhood were strengthened, and pledges of 
earnest co-operation renewed, — the unanimous purpose 
being to hold the Commission steadily to the object of 
its origin, until the country should cease to need its help. 
The soldiers in the neighborhood were visited, at their 
camps and posts, and religious services held among 
them. The President was waited upon by the Commis- 
sion and their friends, in a body, and interviews were 
also had with the several heads of departments and 
other officials. The visit to the President was so strik- 
ing in itself, and became invested with such peculiar 
interest, because of the calamity that soon afterward 
followed in the assassination of Mr. Lincoln, that it 
deserves a more extended reference. The subjoined 
account, by one of the party, was published in The 
National Baptist, of Philadelphia, August 31, I860. 
It is a fair representation, in terms and spirit, of the 
memorable event: — 

The United Suites Christian Commission met in Washington City 
for its third annual business meeting, en Thursday, January 'J(i, 1865. 
President Lincoln had ever been so kind to the Commission, officially 

and personally, that the desire was natural to wait upon him in a 
body. This desire was early made known to him, and he designated 
the next day, Friday, at half-past ten o'clock, a. m., as the time when 
he would receive us. At the appointed hour about one hundred 
Christian men, from all parts of the North, representatives of the 
patriotism and benevolence by which the national cause was main- 
tained at home and the national armies succored in tin' field, were 
gathered in the East Room of the Executive Mansion. Several 


ladies were of the party, and a few persons were present not connected 
with tlic Commission. We were arranged along the length of the 
room, forming a semi-ellipse, and fronting the entrance to the Green 
Room. In a few moments the President entered, unannounced and 
unattended, holding his hat in his right hand. All were impressed 
with the republican simplicity of the scene, and felt that it was a 
fitting illustration of our American character and institutions. Mr. 
Lincoln looked worn and tired. Not that he appeared despondent 
or doubtful of the nation's advancing conflict. His face did not show 
a perplexed anxiety, nor an eager haste to be free from care ami 
trial. Bui (he care itself was furrowing his features and deepening 
their pensiveness. He was met at the door by the Chairman of the 
Commission, Geo. H. Stuart, who introduced him in a general way 
to the assembly. In brief and appropriate language Mr. Stuart 
spoke of the work of the Commission, and of the feelings of those 
engaged in it towards the national cause, its defenders, and its Chief 
Magistrate. During this address the President stood with his head 
slightly bowed, and with an abstracted air that left his eyes lustreless, 
as though his thoughts were among the imperilled and suffering men 
for whose comfort he was ever ready to yield his own. As he lifted 
himself up to reply, his whole aspect changed. All his features 
kindled into a most genial and attractive expression. A pleasant 
smile overspread his face, ami his eyes were filled with a gentle, 
winning light. And yet in every lineament was there that trace of 
pensiveness which is the crowning charm of an intelligent and beiic\ n- 
lent countenance. In his short and characteristic reply he disclaimed 
any title to thanks for what lie had done in furthering the work of 
the Commission; "Nor," said he, "do I know that 1 owe you any 
thanks for what you have done. We have all been laboring for a 
common end. You feel grateful for what 1 have done that is 
right ; and I certainly feel grateful for what you have done that is 
right; and yet, in the fact that we have been laboring for the same 
end, — the preservation of our country anil the welfare of its de- 
fenders, — has been our motive and joy and reward." 

The formal speeches concluded, the President proposed to take 
each of us by the hand. At this point the Chairman of the Commis- 
sion suggested that as the delegation iire-ent were not simply Chris- 
tian men, but representatives of a Christian association, which was 

216 ANNALS of the christian commission. 

itself the organ of the Christian sentiment of the nation, it' deemed 
appropriate by him and agreeable to his own feelings, it would bo 
gratifying to us to invoke the blessing of God upon our Chief Magis- 
trate. The President promptly and eordially responded, that it would 
be agreeable and most fitting, and requested (hat prayer be offered. 
Bishop E. S. Janes, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, led in 
prayer. In simple and fervent language he thanked God for the 
signal displays of his wisdom and love in our national affairs, espe- 
cially in raising up, and sustaining and guiding in the events of his 
administration, him who was for us a faithful and trusted leader. 
He implored the choicest gifts of divine providence and grace, for 
this and the future life, upon him whom God had most manifestly 
anointed for the great trust and duty of the hour. There were tear- 
ful eves and swelling hearts among those who beheld and participated 
in the wonderful scene. All t'elt themselves lilted up by emotions 
of gratitude to the giver of every good gift, — the God of our fathers 
and our people, — and by affection for him upon whom we invoked, 
as with one heart, the benedictions of the Almighty and Eternal 
Jehovah, through the blood of Jesus Christ Although our eyes 
were holden that we could not then see it, yet this was the church of 
the nation consecrating the lamb for the nation's sacrifice. 

As we took the President's warm band within our own, and then 
separated to our work, it was with feelings of strengthened confidence 
in (Jod. and a firmer purpose to give ourselves in simplicity and 
fidelity and zeal to the tasks he might appoint. 

The Public Anniversary of the Commission was held on 
Sunday evening, January '_'!», in the Hall of the House 
of Representatives. As before, it was attended by a 
throng, thousands being unable to find entrance. Hon. 
Wm. IT. Seward, Secretary of State, presided. Presi- 
ded Lincoln and Mrs. Lincoln; Vice-President Ham- 
lin; Secretaries Welles and Dennison; Chief-Justice 
Chase; Vice-Admiral Farragut; numerous Senators 
and Representatives; army and navy officials, with 
many of the rank and tile, were in attendance. Ad- 


dresses were made by Secretary Seward, (Jen. II. Stuart, 
A. E. Chamberlain, Rev. J. Wheaton Smith, D. J)., Rev. 
C. M. Butler, d.d., General M. 11. Patrick, Rev. C. C. 
McCabe, General C. B. Fisk,and Mr. A. D. Richardson. 
Chaplain McCabe sang the "Battle Hymn of the Re- 
public," and .Mr. Philip Phillips sang " Your Mission." 
Both snugs thrilled the audience, and were accompanied 
with manifestations of extraordinary emotion, — the first 
stirring every heart like the blast of a trumpet, and the 
second, by its tenderness and pathos, suffusing all eyes 
with tears. It was noticed that President Lincoln arose 
with the throng and joined heartily in the chorus of 
the " Battle Hymn," and that while Mr. Phillips was 
singing he shared fully in the emotions of all around 
him. 1 

The Anniversary was repeated in Philadelphia, at the 
A.cademy of Music, before a crowded and enthusiastic 
audience, on Tuesday evening, January 31. Addresses 

were made by Rev. Alex, \lfrd, Rev. B. W. ( "hidlaw, 

General C. P>. Fisk, Rev. Richard Newton, d.d., Joseph 
Story, and Rev. Edward Ilawes; Chaplain McCabe and 
Mr. Phillips sang ; and others participated in the devo- 
tional exercises. Similar public meetings were held in 
connection with some of the principal Branch Commis- 

The financial and statistical exhibits of the year are 
appended, as showing the extent and details of the Coin- 
mission's resources and work. 

• See p. 256. 




Dr. Joseph Patterson, Treasurer U. S. Christian Commission. Cr. 


$43,547 4t 

297,456 35 

21,206 84 

54,200 00 
22,667 55 

40,580 02 
1,979 24 

5,000 00 

2,282 89 

345,662 13 

Dec. 31, 

By cash paid for hospital 

Bj - ash paid for publications. 

By cosh paid chapels, horses, 

wagons, and other Btock... 

By cash paid Delegates' ex- 

Dec. 31, 

To cash received from Branch 

$246,577 14 

241.M14 NO 
iio..V.ts -jo 
23,406 35 
4,820 :;; 

18,494 76 

To cash received at Wash- 

To cash received from Ladies' 
Christian Commission, San 
Francisco, Cal., proceeds 

By cash paid stationer} foi 

I'.. cash received from Ladies' 

To i i-ii roci Ived from Pacific 
Christian Commission, for 
amount collected on Pacific 

By cash paid freight, dray- 
age, labor, etc 

By cash paid salaries of Per- 

By cash paid salaries of Col- 

T«i cash received for Chero- 
kee Indians i Special Fund) 
To r;isii received from Penn- 

To cash received from soldiers 
and Bailors, directly into 
iln Treasury, in addition 
to considerable amounts 
receh ed at Washington 

To cash received from various 
Corporations, Local Com- 
mittees, Ladies' Christian 
Commissions, collections 
in churches, und at public 
meetings, individual bud- 

By cash paid expenses ol 

public meetings 

l!\ cash paid salaries at Cen- 

2,036 63 

7 iiliu 44 

\\\ cash paid printing, sta- 
n iry, postage, and inci- 
dental expenses 

By cash paid expenses Pacific 

7,767 67 
3,245 56 

i'-\ cash paid Cherokee Fn- 
dian Fund, pair! to order 

By cash paid Army of Poto- 

Bj cash paid Nashville Agen- 
cy, for various armies of 

By cash paid KnoxviTle 

23,869 06 

To balance, cash in Treasury. 

r.\ i nsh pai>l Shenandoah 

By cash paid Annapolis 

By cash paid Fortress Mon- 

l£0fi nJ 

P\ i osb paid Special 4 gem ) 
in field 

Bj i nsh paid drafts w ash- 

155,024 90 
10,292 65 

i'.\ cash paid drafts Louis- 

By Cash paid drafts St. Louis 

P\ i ash paid drafts Baltimore 

By cash balance on hand 

5.420 12 

1 B65 

£834,582 43 

.Ian. 2. 

85,420 12. 

Having examined the foregoing account of Joseph Patterson, Treasurer of the U. S. Christian 
Commission, and the vouchers submitted therewith, and the corresponding Bank Accounts, and 
having had the various additions made by a careful and competeul clerk, we find the whole to be 
correct, leaving a balance in the Treasury on the 31st of December, 1864, of £5,420 12. 

Stephen Colwell. 

Horatio Gates Jones. 










Gtai< ago 







Louis> 1 1 It- 

New \ Hik... 

Pi oi io 


l'!.i\ [dem e ..... 


St. Louis 

sr Paul 


i tii .i 



I. II. 

Balance on Cash n o< Vrtd 

band per last directly Into 

An Dual Report toe various 

Deo. .ii. 1863, 1 1 

J4::,.M7 41 






7 s 

67S 23 

621 .'.1 

200 06 

16,166 68 

772 80 

7,567 38 

$403,578 6' 
10,560 50 

4').:.7-2 '.'n 
164,952 18 

26,450 9 1 

47.."V,I 22 

18,838 98 
63,499 71 

8,235 v 
26,042 4(i 

3,332 6(1 
23 U8 -(. 
18,133 79 

.".Jul 7:. 
l(i'J747 63 

49,373 12 

92,706 ("i 
11,862 41 
7,689 (iT 

3 'I 08 

4."11 01 
7,72;. ;,i 
3,959 45 

S92,2iu ::t 81,297,766 28 S174.099 01 

Casb remitted 

l>v I'.m'l Office 

i.. ili mi. he 
snd tgencie 

7,502 21 

10.292 1)5 

IV. V. 

Cash r, ted Total Cash Re. 

( i one cclpts, includ- 

Branch OOlco Ing Balance 

I" OtnerS. f ri .iu lsist. 

297,456 35 

2.7IU 45 
1.051 si 

1.27'.' 25 

$320,066 35 

$834,682 43 

In. hi ;,,i 
5S.457 24 
169,474 I" 
26,460 '.'7 
4-i.T"" 7:: 
62,076 21 
70.49:1 is 
8,235 sj 

26.72" 63 

;:.:;::j 60 
2:1.4 is 56 
18,755 "') 
21,888 19 
118,914 :'.l 
.■i", 11" 92 
100,272 38 
11,862 41 
7,".," "7 
50,813 26 
4."U 01 
7.725 51 
3,959 (5 

155.024 90 

£1,884,124 9s 




Boxes .nd 

Packages i'( 

Doatte i Stores 

ami PubUOa- 

Value of 

l ated 



VllllH' III' 

Mi., 1 ' 
lii llllnll-. 

Number of 
Boxes .nd 

' . Dis- 
















$37s,402 13 

2."' " 

5,2 ii 00 

24s. 1. i 

16,280 7s 
16,715 "" 


16,000 00 
12,165 13 

11.474 93 

12, i ii" 

24,643 1" 

16,672 "" 

193,940 "" 

1." -( 


2 " 

2.630 00 
2.7s" "(> 






.-.'."" III. 

7 Tsn '." 

1,085 in' 


100 no 


12,426 42 


3 i"i 

i .,0 





250 OI! 

Si. Paul 


-1. Ii.", ,"s ,;; 






Bibles, Ti-s- 

r:\iiu-iit -, :, it.l 
Porttoos <>( 

(.1 n,-- 0| 

vi.. Bible 

ItS l>.'|m.i- 




Kli.i|. ■:..'!. 

ble sad Pa 
pel Corel ■ 


i'.. .iin.i i.i 




sines and 




Pages of 




S5 500 
















l. 1 



1.1.' 71 



i 828 





















61 l 940 
























St. Paul 







Rebel soldiers . « t Ainu 
■ •I Mississippi, through 
M' lupins and Shelby Co. 

500 .114 


1. 126,676 

03 ^7-J 

13,681 342 






11. >st. .11 







Harriebnrg .... 

rial tford 



Now \..k 



Rot tiestor 

St Louis 

St. Paul 


i in. i 

\\ ashington.... 


Delegates Com 

missioned. l 















Nil ii.i.i in 

Field. Jaaoarv 










auraber "I 

gates' sen Ice. 















5 '• I . 




Kamber of 

employ* i in 


1 Average nnmber of Delegates in field during the your, 217. 



1862, 1863, \M> 1864. 

PARTlri i IBS 

Cash Receipts at Central and Branch Offices.. 
Val f Stores donated to Contra! and Branch 


Value of Publications donated to Central and 

Branch Offices' 

\ nlui .I Si riptui es t A rican Bible 

Value of Scriptures fr British and Foreign 

Bible Societj 

v aluo "i 29,801 Hymn Books, donati d bj 

\im\ C milt..'. Young M. ,,'s Christian 

A--" i iii. in. Boston 

Val t Dele Rites' Bon 

Value of Railroad, Steamboat, ami other 
Transportat racilitfee 

\ due oi Telegraph facilities 

\ aluo oi Rents dI Warehousi - and I ifflcos, do; 
Dated to the Commission 




766 28 
508 87 
296 32 

in 88 



788 06 



4:,o 00 


,289 'J'.' 
629 07 

071 ■" 
,671 79 


.'.■in ,M 

8916,887 66 

$40,160 '-".' 

1 12 i 

■J I..".- 

[3,1 „. ,, 

Totall Iit 

l~,. '. 1863, I i:,i m. 

1,697,487 -II 

81,296 32 

127,442 33 

1,677 ~:> 

I 788 i". 
263,700 mi 

[6 i" 

89,490 mi 

6,750 mi 

5231,256 29 84,030,441 80 

■Table III. column III. shows this for 1864 to be £51,980 12 

From which Bhonld be deducted value of Grants of American Bible 

8 m lety, mi liiil-'il in Credits to various Branches 20,640 10 

Showing tin- above to be for 1864 $31,296 32 

FOR 1862, 1863, AND 1864. 


Dele ii, a C missioned 

tte N umber of days "i Delegated ser- 

Boxes of Stores and Publications distributed.. 

Bibles, Tee uts, and portions of Scriptures 


Hymn ami Psalm Books 

Knapsack Books, En paper ami 6exible covers.. 

liimiiil I arj Books 

M . i-ni,l Pamphlets 

Religious Weekly ami Month!} Newspapers.. 

i i Tracts .'. 

"Silent ' '..mi i "etc. 





569 ,'.i 




7, 7 18 

i |,681 '.i ' 








I ■■,, ,,,j 
2,9 II 169 

.", 28 , 




I ; ; 


3 i ,o 

::l 66 I 


i" i , 6 


[■otals f,,r 

INVJ, ls,;a. „„,l 



181, •■■" 







The year 1865, which was the last in the history of 
the Christian Commission, was not marked by any 
special modification of the work either at home or in the 

army. While the troops were in winter quarters, the 
various appliances already described were vigorously 
employed in ministering to the religious welfare and 
physical comfort of the men. The promise of usefulness 
which the preceding autumn and early winter seemed to 
present was more than fulfilled as the season advanced. 
The chapels, reading-rooms, diet-kitchens, and perma- 
nent stations, with the multitude of Delegates, agents, 
and lady managers, engaged in camp and hospital in all 
the various forms of religious and sanitary service, bore 
good and abundant fruit. 

When the spring campaign opened, the Commission 
prepared itself to take advantage of every opportunity 
that might offer. Two Delegates came through with 
General Sherman's army, in its "Grfiat March" from 
the gulf to the sea, and were met with supplies and 
helpers, when they reached the Atlantic coast. In the 
movements that preceded and followed the surrender of 
Lee's and Johnston's forces, as in the rapid changes 
among our troops at the West, the Commission used its 



experience and its facilities at every point in every prac- 
ticable way. When the grand armies were brought 

together at Washington, in May, preliminary to being 
finally reviewed and mustered out, the Commission 
promptly employed the period of vest thus afforded, 
pitched their tents among the soldiers, and carried on 
their accustomed distributions and daily religions ser- 
vices. When at last the armies were disbanded, and the 
regiments set out for their several homes, — their light- 
ings over and their marchings ended, — the Commission 
attended them on their way, so far as was practicable, 
met them at the various rendezvous where they were 
discharged, and supplied them with such service as they 
might need, and so sought not to leave them until they 
bad ceased to be soldiers and had become again simple 
citizens of the Republic. In addition to other reading- 
matter distributed to these returning veterans, two small 
hooks were especially prepared for them, — one by Rev. 
Dr. E. X. Kirk, entitled ••Mustered Out," published by 
the Boston Tract Society, and the other issued by the 
Christian Commission in its own name, entitled " Part- 
ing Words," — written by (lias. E. Lex, Esq., of Phila- 
delphia. These were circulated by thousands, and were 
designed as little memorials and keepsakes. 

The troops were not all disbanded a'l once. Large 
detachments were sent into the Southwest and North- 
west. The Delegates of the Commission accompanied 
these, and the good work was carried on in Texas and 
Kansas. The last field station of t lit* Commission was 
iii Kansas, at Fort Leavenworth, and was closed in June, 

The fall of Petersburg and of Richmond, in the first 


days of April, 1865, was the occasion of great excite- 
ment and thanksgiving throughout the North. This 
enthusiastic feeling at once took the form of remembrance 
of the soldier's wants and provision for them. It was 
thought that there would be severe fighting and much 
suffering, and it was the general purpose to be prepared 
for the worst. Numerous meetings were held, especially 
in the larger cities, at which liberal contributions were 
made for the Commission's treasury. Multitudes of in- 
dividual and congregational offerings were also sent in. 
Although these resources were not needed for the emer- 
gency apprehended, as the fall of the rebel capital was 
followed by the bloodless surrender of the rebel armies, 
yet the Commission was thereby enabled to continue 
and complete its labors in a manner that in all proba- 
bility would not have been otherwise possible. Funds 
for the more quiet and obscure work in Texas and on 
the Plains could not have been so readily obtained, if the 
appeal had been for that work alone, after the excite- 
ment and interest of the war had largely passed away. 

The death of President Lincoln, April 15, was for the 
Commission, as for the American people at large, a per- 
sonal bereavement. It was suitably recognized and 
commemorated by the various Branch Commissions. At 
the Central Office there was a meeting of the Executive 
Committee on the day of the sad event. In connection 
with appropriate religious exercises the following minute 
was passed, an engrossed copy of which was sent to .Mis. 
Lincoln: — 

Whereas, God, in his inscrutable providence, has allowed our 
Chief Magistrate the President, Abraham; Lincoln, to be removed 
by the hand of violence, therefore 


Resolved, That this deplorable event which, in the midst of heart- 
felt rejoicings, lias thrown the nation into the deepest mourning, im- 
pels us t'> look to (Jin! for wisdom and consolation. We arc in the 
hands of the same Almighty Deliverer who lias just rescued the 
country from the perils and desolations of a terrible rebel war. He 
alone who sees the end from the beginning is sufficient to guide us 

Resolved, That as citizens we mourn the loss of a wise and able 
ruler, the kind, tender, and merciful magistrate, who by his pure and 
patriotic administration of the government has so won the affections 
of his countrymen ; and, as the Executive Committee of the United 
States Christian Commission, we lament hint who, when the Commis- 
sion was first organized, at once gave us his official sanction ami kind 
word- of encouragement, and who hail ever since been a fast friend, 
giving not only all proper governmental facilities but also generous 
private contributions ami expressions of personal confidence and in- 
terest. We remember, with gratitude to God, that the recent and 
la-t official interview the Commission had with President Lincoln, in 
the East Room of the Executive Mansion, was, with his most cordial 
approval, closed with prayer to Cod, in whose hands he then said he 
felt himself to b ■ but an instrument, .to execute plans whose full pur- 
port and results he did not understand. 

/,'• olved, That we give to the children and widow of the deceased 
our deepest sympathy and prayers, that the blessed Comforter may 
abide with them in this time of desolation. 

Resolved, That the Executive Committee attend the funeral ser- 

( >n tin' 25th of April a Convention of the Western 
Branches of the Commission assembled in Chicago, simi- 
lar in character and purpose to the meeting held in In- 
dianapolis -ix months before. The session was pleasant 
and profitable, but without special influence upon the 
work of the Commission, as thai was necessarily con- 
trolled by the termination of the war. 

A- the necessity for the peculiar work of the ( lommis- 
sion diminished, it was suggested in several quarters that 



they might advantageously turn their attention to new 
fields, which were opening to the benevolence and Chris- 
tian activity of the nation. It was said that the Com- 
mission was well organized, had the confidence of the 
government and the people, possessed unusual facilities 
for reaching all parts of the nation, and could hence 
accomplish more in the way of educational and evangel- 
izing movements than newer or less comprehensive asso- 
ciations. These suggestions were carefully considered 
by the Executive Committee, but it was deemed inexpe- 
dient to adopt them. The Committee thought that as 
the Commission was organized for a specific purpose, the 
organization should cease as soon as its purpose had been 
accomplished. They felt that a prompt relinquishment 
of their trust, with a full report of the manner in which 
it had been discharged, was due alike to themselves and 
the public. Accordingly, at their meeting held on May 
IS, the Executive Committee, after an extended review 
of all the questions and interests involved, adopted the 
following minute by a unanimous vote: — 

Whereas, The United States Christian Commission was formed 
early in the war for a special purpose, "To promote the spiritual and 
temporal welfare of the soldiers in the army and the sailors and 
marines in the navy," and 

Whereas, That work, which tied has so abundantly blessed, is 
nearly done : therefore 

Resolved, That it is the intention of the United States Christian 
Commission to hold itself strictly to its original purpose, and to dis- 
continue its operations as soon as the necessities shall cease which 
required its organization. 

At the same meeting the following resolutions were 
also unanimously adopted: — 


/,'. toked, That we will make no further efforts to organize Ladies' 
( Ihristian Commissions. 

Resolved, That the services of all paid Collecting Agents employed 
by this Committee be terminated on the first day of June next. 

Resolved, That the above action of the Executive Committee be 
communicated to the Branch Commissions, and that they be advised 
to dispense with all paid Collecting Agents. 

Everything was now directed inward the closing up 
of the stations and offices of the Commission, as rapidly 
as the welfare of the soldiers would permit. The mili- 
tary posts were gradually abandoned by the troops, and 
the hospitals were gradually emptied of their patients, 
and the work of the Commission was curtailed in similar 
measure. During the summer and early autumn must 
of the permanent A.gents and officers resigned. The 
Branch Commissions were left to close up their local 
matters according to their judgment, as determined by 
the general principles already announced. Appropria- 
tions were made from the Central treasury to meet 
special necessities in various parts of the field. The 
Executive Committee appointed the Home Secretary 
"to prepare a Memorial or History of the Christian 
Commission," and the Field Secretary "to prepare a 
volume of Incidents, — such as may be fegarded by him 
as fully authentic and most valuable of those which have 
occurred during the work of the Commission." 

In September the Commission was furnished, by the 
agents in charge of the Individual Relief Department, 
with a list of seven thousand names of Federal soldiers 
buried from Libby, Belle Isle, and Danville prisons, al 
City Point and in the field around Petersburg and 
Richmond, and in the rebel prison at Millin, Georgia. 


This list was printed in pamphlet form, widely adver- 
tised, and forwarded to the large number of persons 
who applied for it. 

The Executive Committee held a meeting on the first 
of December, again to examine the condition of affairs. 
It then appeared that there was one permanent Dele- 
gate among the soldiers in Virginia, with headquarters 
at Richmond; that fourteen Agents and Permanent 
Delegates were employed in Texas, with Xew Orleans 
as base of supplies, engaged in teaching and preaching 
among the colored troops, with the ordinary field work 
and hospital relief, — the Western Sanitary Commission 
and the Illinois State Sanitary Commission having fur- 
nished hospital stores to the amount of $15,000 or 
$20,000; that at Fort Leavenworth and on the Plains 
there were six agents and Delegates; that in Texas and 
on the Plains the troops numbered about sixty-five thou- 
sand, and that the St. Louis Branch had immediate 
charge of the work in both fields. Upon a careful con- 
sideration of the condition of the Commission's treasury 
and work, the following resolutions were passed: — 

Resolved, 1. That the United States Christian Commission termi- 
nate its labors and close its offices, January 1, 18t>(3, and that a 
final report be made to the public as sunn as practicable there- 

2. That the Branch Commissions be requested to shape their 
affairs, and make their reports to the Central Office, in accordance 
with the foregoing resolution. 

.'>. That this action of the Executive Committee be published, and 
al-n be communicated to the several Branches. 

4. That the balances now remaining in the treasuries of the several 
Branch Commissions be applied by them according to their judg- 
ment and discretion, always keeping in view the special object for 


which the funds were given. Where do such application is prac- 
ticable, they are requested to send their balances to the Central 
( (ffice. 

The Executive Committee again met, January 11, 
1866. Arrangements were made for holding a final 
Anniversary of the Commission, in Washington, on 
Sahhath evening, February 11. Messrs. Colwell, IV- 
mond, and Jones were appointed a Committee to super- 
intend the publication of the books already ordered. 
The Treasurer's Account and the Annual Report were 
passed upon. Finally the following minute was adopted, 
as terminating the official existence of the Executive 
( Jommittee and the Commission : — 

Whereas, The work of the Christian Commission is ended, and 
there are >till funds in I lie possession of the Tr< asurer, and mure funds 
are expected from the profits of the sale of the " History" and " Book 
of Incidents," therefore 

Voted, That George EL Stuart, Joseph Patterson, Stephen 
Colwell, John P. Crozer, 1 and Matthew Simpson, be and hereby 
are appointed Trustees, to receive and hold the funds now in the 
Treasury, and all thai may hereafter be given to the Commission, 

or may accrue to the Commission from the sale of said 1 ks or 

otherwise, upon the following trusts and conditions, to wit : To pay 
all debts due or that may become due from the Commission, ami all 
expenses thai may arise in closing up the affairs oi the Commission, 
including those of its closing meeting, ami all expenses of preparing 
and publishing said History and Book of Incidents; and to apply 
ami appropriate all the remainder of such funds to the spiritual ami 
temporal benefit of those who are, have been, or may he soldiers 
and sailors in the service of the United States, in such ways as they 
>hall deem best. A majority of said Trustees shall be competent to 

1 Ur. Crozer died on the I lth da} of March, 1866; whereupon, on the 13th 
day of i he same month, Horatio 1 1 \ i is Jones was elected to till the vacancy, 
and was al?<> chpsen Secretary of the Board. 


transact any and all business relating to said Trust, and if any 
vacancy or vacancies shall occur in the number of the said Trustees 
the remainder shall fill such vacancy or vacancies. 

Voted, That the Treasurer pay over to the said Trustees all the 
funds remaining in his hands at the time his accounts shall be fully 
audited, and take their receipt therefor. 

The final meeting of the Executive Committee was 
held at Washington, in the E Street Baptist Church, 
Saturday, February 10, 1866, at 9? o'clock. Various 
business matters were prepared for presentation to the 
Commission at large, which had been called to convene 
at the same place at 10 o'clock. The following resolu- 
tion of thanks was voted to the Chairman: — 

The Executive Committee feel it a duty and a pleasure to place 
on record their high appreciation of the able and faithful service of 
their chairman, Geo. H. Stuart. His liberality in furnishing office 
and store room, and at times the services of his clerks, was of great 
value, especially in the early days of the Commission. His business 
talent and skill enabled us to purchase cheaply and well, and to 
keep all the accounts of our extensive and diversified operations in 
the most thorough manner. His unbounded enthusiasm was com- 
municated not only to us but to all who came near him, and enlisted 
the sympathies and aid of thousands in our work, while his personal 
intercourse with us, in all our long and trying deliberations, has been 
delightful. As we separate, our prayers go up to our Father in 
heaven that his days may be many, useful, and happy. 

After a few words of acknowledgment by the Chair- 
man, the Committee dissolved, — closing its record with 
this minute: — 

Before finally separating, the Executive Committee of the United 
States Christian Commission wish to put on record an expression of 
their gratitude to God, for his constant watch-care and blessing, 
during the entire period of their organization. No one of their 


number has been removed by death. There has been complete har- 
mony in their counsels, and the heartiest co-operation in their action. 
With scarcely an exception every vote has been unanimous, and this 
notwithstanding the frequency of their meetings and the magnitude 
of the interests confided to them. Their measures have had the 

i fidence of the Christian public and of the national authorities, 

and have been blessed with most gratifying results in the army and 
navy. All this preservation^ concord, favor, and efficiency the 
Executive Committee wish now, with gratitude for having been 
entrusted with such service and for the divine help accorded them, 
to ascribe to Him from whom has come power, wisdom, and grace, 
ami to whom he praise and glory forever, through Jesus Christ out- 
Lord. Amen. 

The Commission tit large met, as above indicated, at 
ten o'clock. An adjourned session was also held in the 
cveiiing. The Commission and its various Branches 
were well represented. The action of the Executive 
Committee was reviewed and confirmed. The President 
of the United States, the several heads of Departments, 
and General Grant, were waited upon during the day. 
In the evening the Commission heard the Annual Re- 
port, adopted the same, and thereupon finally adjourned, 
— ordering their record to be closed with the following 
preamble and resolutions: — 

WHEREAS, The causes which brought into existence, and have 
continued for four years, the labors of the United States Christian 
Commission, have now happily ceased, therefore 

Resolved, That our most sincere thanks are due to Almighty God 
for the termination of the rebellion, and for thus opening the whole 
country to die influences of education and religion. 

/,' wived, That we also express our devout gratitude to God for his 
blessing upon the oflicers and Delegates of this Commission, in their 
efforts to relieve the sufferings of our soldiers and seamen, and to 
impart to them, and especially to the sick and dying, thai instruc- 
tion and consolation in the religion of Jesus which is beyond price. 


With these closing official minutes of the Commission, 
may be associated their "Parting Words" to those 
through whose constant and efficient co-operation they 
had been enabled to carry forward to completion their 
important work : — 

Our joy in being permitted, by the return of peace to the land and 
the soldiers to their homes, to cease the labors of the Commission, is 
shaded with regret. Very pleasant, indeed, have been our associa- 
tions, during these years, with those who have toiled for the welfare 
of the soldier and sailor. We cannot allow them to close without 
thanksgiving to God for this goodly fellowship. 

We do not forget that he who was at once the pride and hope of 
the nation, an early and devoted friend of the Commission, a most 
intimate participator at our meeting one year ago, has not been per- 
mitted to see the end with us. President Lincoln's appreciation of 
the Christian Commission was only another expression of his more 
than paternal love for his soldiers. To have found a place in such 
a heart, and the approval of such a mind, we deem a special cause 
for thanksgiving. 

To the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Navy, the heads of 
the different Departments of the army in Washington, and to the 
Lieutenant-General and all his commanders in the field, we are under 
peculiar obligations. They have not only allowed and approved, 
but have enabled us thus to minister to the suffering. 

To the Army Committees in the different Branches of the Commis- 
sion, merchants and professional men, who have left their ordinary 
business to give time and strength and anxious thought for the wel- 
fare of the soldier, through the Christian Commission, we have been 
drawn with increasing admiration and love. Knowing that they 
have their reward, we desire only to assure them that, in our parting, 
"the tie that binds" is not broken. Memory shall keep it ready for 
all united Christian work in times of peace, till at length, by God's 
grace, it holds us again, united in the service above. 

To the pastors of churches, the children in the Sunday-schools, and 
to the thousands and millions all over our land who have joined 
hands with us in these ministrations for Christ, no words of ours can 


adequately set forth our gratitude in this farewell hour. Upon them 
we have leaned, and not been disappointed. They have refused oo 
appeals in behalf of the national defenders. Their trust in the Com- 
mission, and their generous enthusiasm, growing and swelling to the 
last, have hem our stay and strength. 

To the loval women who, in Ladies' Christian Commissions, in 
leagues and aid societies, have fed the flame of piety and patriotism 
in our homes, and in weary hours, for successive years, with busy 
fingers and devices of love, have kept the hands of our agents and 
Delegates in the field so full of comforts for suffering patriots, it is 
not enough to say wc are profoundly grateful. To them, under < rod, 
the Commission owes its success. We only anticipate the verdict of 
the future, when we say that, thus far in human history, such work 
is exclusively theirs, — a work that could have been wrought only by 
praying wive- and mothers and sisters in behalf of imperilled kindred 
and country. 

Finally, to God, the Giver and Guide of all. we join with each 
fellow-laborer of the Christian Commission, in thanksgiving and 
] uaise. The work is His. To Him be the glory. We gave the 
Commission the name of the Master. We sent it forth to speak His 
words and imitate His deeds. Christ, the Lord, has accepted and 
honored it: and now, wherever mention shall be made of the work it 
has accomplished, we desire only that the quick, grateful, adoring 
response shall he, " See what the Lord hath wrought !" 

The fourth and lust Anniversary of the Christian Com- 
mission was held on Sabbath evening, February 11, 1866, 
in the I hill of the House of Representatives, Washing- 
ton, according to previous arrangements. It was no less 
numerously attended than the similar meetings of pre- 
ceding years, and it was the equal of those in character 
and interest. In order to show more clearly the nature 
of the Commission's anniversaries and public meetings, 
as they were held in the larger cities of the North from 
year to year, a full report of this last gathering is here 
preserved. This report was made for the Commission 



by one of the editors of The Sunday-School Times, Mr. 
I. Newton Baker, to whom the Commission was indebted 
for much valuable service, and was first published in 
The Times of February 24, 1866. 


The ever memorable fourth and closing anniversary of the Christian Com- 
mission was held in the Hall of the House of Representatives, Washington, 
D. C, on Sabbath evening, February 11, 1866. A great crowd filled the Hall, 
overflowing the lobbies outside, and turning thousands away in a disappointed 
stream. The assembly was composed of the distinguished and honored of the 
land, representing perhaps more fully and truly the powers which wield our 
great nation than any similar assembly ever convened in our country's history. 
The Hall was draped in memory of the beloved dead, who by his presence 
graced the last anniversary of the Commission, and by his tearful sympathy 
has made that occasion ever fragrant in the history and record of the institu- 
tion. The Hon. .Schuyler Colfax, Speaker of the House, presided. Precisely 
at seven o'clock the exercises began, by the singing of the noble hymn of 

Jesus shall reign where'er the sun 
Does his successive journeys run, 
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore, 
Till moons shall wax and wane no more, 

the audience rising and joining in the praise, led by Philip Phillips, of Cin- 
cinnati. Prayer was then offered by the Rev. Dr. Boynton, Chaplain of the 
House, and the Scriptures were read, in the 46th Psalm, by the Rev. Dr. Taylor, 
Secretary of the American Bible Society. 


On taking the chair, Speaker Colfax said : — 

Ladies and Gentlemen: The fearful trial to which our Republic 
was subjected, for the preservation of its existence, is over. The 
loved and lost, who died that the nation might live, sleep in their 
bloody shrouds in village churchyards, on cannon-furrowed battle- 
fields, near prison-camps, alas ! too, in unmarked graves, but all 
enshrined with the sainted dead of the Revolution in millions of 
hearts for evermore. The yet vacant chair at many a lonely hearth- 
stone tells the silent story of sacrifice, such as the world had never 


rivalled before. But the gates of our temple of Janus are closed; the battle line which swept across our country thousands of 
miles, from Gettysburg to the boundary of the Mexican Republic, 
the bannered hosts have returned to their waiting homes, volunteers 
transformed by the shock of arms into veterans, and hailed as the 
saviors of the Union. The sword is exchanged for the plough- 
share, and the great rebellion, organized on broken oaths, and cul- 
minating in the murder of the nation's chief, with the great uprising 
which so patriotically confronted it, and the great victory which 
crushed it, has passed into history, which Cicero tells us is " the 
evidence of ages, the light of memory, and the school of life." 

It is under these auspicious circumstances that this organization, 
inspired from that Throne whence flow all good impulses, which, 
like a handmaiden of mercy, went forth into our armies to succor 
ami to save, returns to-night to this Representative Hall, to render a 
final account of its stewardship. Of its thousands of active and 
willing co-laborers, and its millions of expenditures, you will hear 
from abler tongues than mine. From all quarters of the nation, 
In lunch altars and family circles, from merchants and manu- 
facturers, from mechanics and miners, from the tillers of the earth 
and the sailors on the sea, from crowded cities and humble cabins, 
from the munificent donations of the wealthy to the widow's mite, 
came tin' material aid which poured its mighty volume into the 
colU'i\> of the Christian Commission. And its agents, thus endowed 
with the unstinted gifts of patriotic benevolence, ami clad in the 
armor of a nation's sympathy, went forth to win the glorious vic- 
tories they so gloriously achieved, — victories over suffering, victories 
over disease, victories over death itself, from whose icy grasp they 
rescued so many thousands by their more than Samaritan ministra- 
tions. To the battlefield they came, to snatch our brave defenders 
from under the guns of the enemy, where they had fallen. To the 
hospital they came, to minister in place of the beloved wife and 
mother, so far away, and to pour oil, if possible, into the expiring 
lamp of Life. To the death-bed of the departing hero they came, to 
smooth his pathway to the tomb, ami to point him to that better 
land wheie he should live a life that would never die. 

Resting from their labors of love, now that the victorious ensign 
of the Republic waves over the entire land, and our Constitution has 


become the New Testament of our ■freedom, they rejoice with all 
who rejoice over a country saved for its brilliant destiny hereafter, 
in that noble sentiment, deeper, profounder in its significance to-day 
than when first uttered in this Capitol, " Liberty and Union, now 
ami forever, one and inseparable." 

Mr. Geo. II. Stuart, Chairman of the Commission, presented a Summary 
Statement of its operations from the beginning, and Rev. E. P. Smith. Field 
Secretary, read an abstract of its last Annual Report. 

Mr. Stuart read a number of letters from various civil and military officers. 
These, with others that were afterwards received, are here appended: — 



Washington-, Feb. 1. 1866. 
Geo. H. Stuart, Esq., Chairman U.S. C. C, Philadelphia: — 

With many thanks to you and the Association of which you are 
the presiding officer, for the kind invitation contained in your note 
of yesterday, I regret my inability to make an address upon the 
interesting occasion. It is, however, a pleasant official and personal 
duty to acknowledge, on your anniversary, the great services to the 
country and to humanity rendered by the Christian Commission 
during the period of its labors. Edwin M. Stanton. 

Department of State, Washihoton, February 12, lsiai. 
Dear Sir: The pressure of official cares has prevented an earlier 
acknowledgment of the letter which you addressed to me on the 27th 
of January last. The condition of my health deprived me. of the 
pleasure of accepting your invitation to attend, last evening, the 
Anniversary of the United States Christian Commission. I pray 
you to accept now my acknowledgment of the great and effective 
labors of that Commission. A just account of those labors will 
constitute, I am sure, one of the most interesting and pleasing 
episodes in the history of the great struggle which brought the Com- 
mission into being. 

I am, dear sir, respectfully and sincerely. 

Your obedient servant, 

William H. Seward. 
Geo. H. Stuart, Esq., Chairman U. S. 0. C, Philadelphia. 



Washington, D. C, January 30 1866. 

My Dear Sir: Your letter, asking my judgment of the work of the 
Christian Commission during the recent civil war, lias been received. 
It was not my privilege to participate directly in that work, nor to 
see niueli nf its immediate effects in the camps, or mi the battle-fields, 
or in the hospitals. What 1 know of it was chiefly from testimony; 
lint that testimony was ample and reliable. And 1 feel myself fully 
warranted in saving, that no such humane ministration of beneficence 
and loving-kindness was ever witnessed before in any age or country. 
Except in a Christian land no such ministration would he possible. 
Perhaps it is not too much to say that it would not, in this age, he 
possible in any Christian land except our own. The responsibility 
which our institutions impose on each citizen for the safety of the 
Republic, and the concern in every operation of Government which 
the personal interest of each citizen necessarily creates, lilled the 
ranks of our armies with hundreds of thousands of our best young 

The warm affections of those they left at home; the obligations of 
Christian duty which pressed upon the conscience of almost all men 
and women in our land, and the spirit of self-denying, fraternal love 
which a free Christianity called into action throughout our country, 
naturally found expression and manifestation in the Christian Com- 
mission. In what other land do such influences act so powerfully ? 
In what other land have they so free a course? The work of the 
Commission for the war is ended. Its kindly ministrations to the 
soldiers of the Union, not limited indeed to them, but freely extended 
to sick or wounded or imprisoned soldiers, without regard to uniform 
or service, are no longer required in camp, or field, or hospital. 
Bui they will never lie forgotten. No history of the American civil 
war, — let US pray God it may lie tiie last, — will ever lie written 
without affectionate ami admiring mention of the Christian Commis- 
sion. Nor alone in histories of the earth will its record he preserved. 
Its work reached beyond time, and its " record is on high." 

Yours, very truly, 

S. P. Cham 
Geo. 11. Stuart, Esq., Philadelphia. 



Headquarters Armies of the United States,"! 
Washington, D. C, January 12, 1866. J 

Geo. H. Stuart, Esq., Chairman U. S. C. C: — ■ 

Dear Sir: Your letter of the Kith instant, announcing that the 
United States Christian Commission is on the eve of closing its work, 
is received. I hope the same labor will never be imposed on any 
body of citizens again in this country as the Christian Commission 
have gone through in the last four years. It affords me pleasure to 
bear evidence to the services rendered, and the manner in which they 
have been rendered. By the agency of the Commission much suffer- 
ing has been saved, on almost every battle-field and in every hospital 
during the late rebellion. No doubt thousands of persons now living 
attribute their recovery, in great part, to volunteer agencies sent to 
the field and hospital by the free contributions of our loyal citizens. 
The United States Sanitary Commission and the United States Chris- 
tian Commission have been the principal agencies in collecting and 
distributing their contributions. To them the army feel the same 
gratitude that the loyal public feel for the services rendered by the 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

U. S. Grant, Lieutenant- General. 

Headquarters Military Division of tiik Mississippi, ^ 

St. Loris. January 19, I v ' ; ' ; . 



Geo. H. Stuart, Esq., Chairman U. 8. C. ('., Philada.: — 

Dear Sir: I have your letter of January 15, asking an expression 
of my opinion of the operations of your Commission during the war. 
That the people of the United States should have voluntarily con- 
tributed six millions of dollars for the moral welfare of the soldiers 
employed, in addition to other and vast charitable contributions, 18 
one of the wonders of the world. That the agents for the application 
of this charity did manifest a zeal and energy worthy the object. I 
myself am a willing witness; and I would be understood as heartily 
endorsing, without reserve, their efforts, when applied to the great 
hospitals and rendezvous in the rear of our great armies At times 

Tin: FOUETH FEAR. 239 

I may have displayed an impatience when the agents manifested an 
excess of zeal, in pushing forward their persons and stores when we 
had mi means to make use el' i heir charities. But they could hardly 
be expected to measure the importance of other interests, ami 1 have 
always given them credit for good and pure motives. 

Now that the great end is attained, and in our quiet rooms and 
offices we can leek back on the past with composure, 1 am not only 
willing, but pleased with the opportunity, to express my belief that 
your charity was noble in its conception, and applied with as mueh 
zeal, kindness, and discretion as the times permitted. 
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant, 

W. T. Sherman, Major- General 


Headquarters Military Division op the Atlantic, 1 
Philadelphia, Pa., January 17, 18.66. I 

Geo. H. Sttjakt, Esq., Chairman U. S. C. C: — 

Dear Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
communication ofthel5th instant, announcing that the Tinted States 
Christian Commission has finished its work for the army and navy. 
I sincerely congratulate the Commission <m the successful termina- 
tion of their arduous and responsible labors, and am glad to learn 
that it is contemplated to publish in an authentic form a record of 
tin- great work accomplished. 

So far as the Army of the Potomac is referred to, it affords me 
great pleasure to bear testimony to the invaluable services rendered 
by the Commission's field agents, not only in ministering to the 
spiritual wants of our brave soldiers, — the well, the sick, and the 
wounded, — but to their. active labors mi the field ami in the hospi- 
tals, tending and nursing the sick, the wounded, and the dying. 

One of the brightest pages in the history of the great war from 
which we have just emerged will be the record of the noble spirit 
displayed by our people, in their devotion to the want- and comforts 
of our soldiers. No one not in the field, and witnessing the scenes 

Of distress there exhibited, can fully appreciate the services thus ren- 
dered to humanity. The United States Christian Commission, in 
connection with the Sanitary and other associations, "as conspicuous 


ill the great work of love and charity, and I am sure the survivors 
of the war will, like myself, ever have in grateful memory the debt 
of gratitude so justly due to it. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Geo. G. Meade, Major- General, U. S. A. 

Lately commanding Army of the Potomac. 


War Department, 
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 

W LSHINGTON, Jan. 2". 1866. 

Dear Sir: It affords me unusual gratification to respond to your 
kindly sentiments, expressed in your letter just received. 

My purpose was to be a follower of Christ, while I stood in my 
place as a defender of the integrity of the Government, and a steady 
opponent of slavery. God has given us our Government, and broken 
the power of slavery, and I try to feel thankful and give him the 
glory, and continue to obey his behests. 

You always had my hearty approval and sympathy in the work 
of the Christian Commission. Your work of physical relief is so con- 
nected, in my recollection, with that of tin- Sanitary Commission, and 
that of special benevolent associations, that I will only say that, 
wherever I found your agents, either in the Army of the Potomac, 
of the Cumberland, or of the Tennessee, I found them faithful in 
such things, to the important trust committed to them. I have seen 
them among the soldiers in prayer-meetings, Sunday-schools, and at 
Sunday services, and, without exception, they were full of zeal and 
energy in the Master's service. Their spiritual work, encouraging 
chaplains and aiding them with books, Billies, Testaments, and with 
themselves, ready to speak of Christ crucified, at all times and in all 
places, bringing to us, professing Christians, cheerful faces and warm 
pressure of the hand, with a "God bless and protect you," and fol- 
lowing us tn every hospital and battle-field, to point to the only Name 
whereby a soldier can be saved, though he may lie ever so brave and 
patriotic, — it can never be estimated here below. 

God reward you, my dear sir, for the impulse you gave to the great 
work of the Christian Commission, and for your indomitable energy, 
displayed in perpetuating it till the end. 

With your strong faith in Christ you took officers, soldiers, and 


citizens in the arms of your love, and bore them right on, to work 
fin- our ( Sod and for humanity. 

The Christian Commission has written its record on the tablets "f 
thousands of precious souls, and needs nothing to render it perpetual, 
for its influence is eternal. 

Very gratefully yours, in the best of bonds, 

O. 0. Howard, Major- General. 
Geo. H. Stuart, Es<>., Philadelphia, Pa. 


ci \i:\ v. N. V.. March 21. 1866. 

Mi/ dear Friend: Your letter of the 17th is at hand, asking me 
for " an expression of my views as to the manner in which the Chris- 
tian Commission has discharged its trust." "Why, my dear friend, 
you might about as well ask me to give an opinion of myself. 

The fact that I have been so intimately associated with the Execu- 
tive Board, and acted as General Counsel for the Officers and Agents 
of the Commission in the Field, must of necessity so influence my 
opinions as to disqualify me for sitting in judgment upon its manage- 
ment and operations. Certainly no one in the Armies operating in 
Virginia has had equal opportunities with myself for knowing the 
work of tic Commission, and if, with this knowledge, I have given it 
my earnest and hearty support at all times and under all circumstances, 
no further expression of mine can add weight to former utterances. 
Organized at first to meet a single want, it continued to expand until 
it seemed to meet every want that could arise in a civil war of such 
vast proportions, — carrying life, light, and blessing to multitudes, 
and receiving back to itself the rich blessing of those who were 
ready to perish, — a blessing that has descended like the dew of 
heaven upon it> members and Delegates, by training them for active 
usefulness in civil life, as lay missionaries, and by giving to its 
ministerial laborers that knowledge of life and men and things, as 
they are, that no other school on earth could give them. 

Let it be our prayer, that the good seed it has so freely sown by all 
waters may continue to spring up and bear fruit abundantly, to the 
glory of Him whose light failed us never, even in the days of our 
deepest darkness. Sincerely and fraternally yours, 

M. R. Patrick. 
Geo. H. Stuart, Esq., Chairman U. S. C. C, Phlhala. 




Headquarters Middle Militari Division, February 10, L868. 

Geo. II. Stuart, Esq., Chairman U. S. C. C, Philada., /'<'..- — 

Dnir Sir: Since it has been formally announced that the labors 
nl' the United Stales Christian Commission for the army and navy 
have ended, 1 deem it a titling occasion to express to you my belief 
that the important objects for which that organization was inau- 
gurated have been faithfully accomplished, so far as it could he 
expected they could be practically performed. 1 think the best test 
of the success of the Commission can be found in the sentiments of 
the soldiers of the war, and so far as my knowledge extends the 
benefits derived by them from this source were freely admitted and 
strongly felt. The attention of the Commission to those wants of 
the soldier in the field, which could not have been otherwise s.i well 
supplied, causes a grateful feeling in return, as he felt that they 
replaced as far as might be those kind attentions and services which 
were lest to him when hi' left his heme for the field. 

1 am sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Winfield S. Hancock, Maj.-Gen. U.S. Vols. 


Hi 11.1)1 irters Military Divisioh of the Ti knessee, 1 
N 1M1Y11.I.E. Tens., January 21, tsiHi. ) 

Mr. Geo. II. Stuart, Chairman V. S. C. C, Philada.: — 

Sir: I have the boner to acknowledge the receipt of your letter 
dated January 15, L866, showing that the United States Christian 
Commission had finished its work, and that it has expended 
six millions of dollars ($6,000,000), contributed by the good people 
of the land in its labor of love and charity, for the benefit of our 
soldiers and sailors, who have providentially been the means of 
saving ami perpetuating our form of Government; also delicately 
acknowledging your appreciation of duties performed at these head- 
quarters in behalf of the United States Christian Commission. 

I congratulate von that, being no longer neee.-sary, your Christian, 
faithful, and laborious duties are ended. I consider that the organi- 
zation and action of the United States Christian Commission, as 
developed in its results, have saved many lives and furnished com- 

THE FOtTBTH YI'.AI!. 2 l"> 

fori to many a soldier, who without its aid must have suffered. I 
also desire to say thai the works of the Christian Commission furnish 
an excellent record, and that its assistance has been a useful agency 
in helping to end the rebellion, and again bring about in this country 
an exemplification of the true Christian principle of " peace <>n earth 
and good will toward men." 

1 am, very respect fully, your obedient servant, 

Geo. II. Thomas, Maj.-Gen. U. 'V .1-, Commanding. 


Pboi idexce, March 20, I 368. 
Geo. H. Sttjartj Esq., Chairman U. S. C. C: — 

Dear Sir: I lieu t<> thank you and the noble Commission of which 
you have been at the head, for your efficient and useful labors in 
the field during the late rebellion. It has been my happiness t<> «it- 
ness many of these labors, and 1 can truly say that the country owes 
you ami your associates an everlasting debt of gratitude, for your 
good works which have been SO bountifully bestowed upon her 
soldiers in the field. 

Your expression of thanks for my co-operation and sympathy is 

most gratifying to me. I esteem it a high honor to have been in any 

way connected with the valuable work of your Commission. 

Truly your friend, 

A. E. Bornside. 


KlRKWOOD 1 1." -i . i 
W lshinoton, |i. i'., Jan. 26, I 

Dear Sir: I envy you and your associates of the Christian Com- 
mission the grateful sense of a noble work well done, with which, 
in closing its labors, you can review the doings of the Christian ('"in 
mis-ion. Perhaps the appreciation may be more vivid in my par- 
ticular case, because 1 saw day by day the good your Christian 

charity dispensed in hospitals, in camps, and even on the battle-field. 

Wants were supplied, distresses mitigated, comforts brought to the 
sick, and Wounded, and dying. But this physical relief was the least. 
of the results of the work of the Commission. The fact, that Chris- 
tian men and women were, with active benevolence, al home, busy 
in In hall' of the soldier, gave a moral support, connected with the 
spiritual consolation afforded by the agents in the field, which was 


of the utmost value. Indeed, I think it largely due to the connec- 
tions of the soldier with his home and citizenship, thus kept up by 
yours and kindred associations, that the country is indebted for the 
sublime but before unwitnessed spectacle, of an army of more than 
a million of veteran soldiers, on the approach of peace, changing at 
once without shock into a like number of quiet, orderly, valuable 

It is not the least of the pleasant memories I have of service in the 
field that I was able to assist your generous labors, for the temporal 
and spiritual welfare of the Army of the James. That my endea- 
vors obtained the approbation of the noble men and women of the 
Commission, is to me the highest honor. 

Truly your friend and servant, 

Benj. F. Butler. 
Geo. H. Stuart, Esq., Chairman U. S. C. C, Philada., Pa. 


Headquarters Department up the Ohio, 1 
Detroit, Michigan, Jan. 22, 1SC6. J 

Geo. H. Stuart, Esq., Chairman C. C, Philada., Pa.: — 

Dear Sir: I have just received your letter of January 15, asking 
for such testimony as I can give as to the results achieved by the 
Christian Commission, within the Army of the James, and the De- 
partment of Virginia and North Carolina, while under my command. 
I can with pleasure state that the troops in that army are indebted 
to the untiring energy of the agents of your Commission, both in the 
Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Corps, during their field service, 
and while lying in the trenches before Richmond, for both moral and 
physical aid and comfort, which only those present can appreciate at 
its true value ; churches and school-houses, or tents, were erected, 
each Division was supplied with teachers and preachers, who, unde- 
terred by hardship or exposure, unappalled by danger, were con- 
tinually with the men in front, and, when sickness and death threat- 
ened them, were at their sides, with such consolation as only a 
Christian friend can give at that time. The good thus done, and the 
physical aid and comforts administered, can never be estimated. The 
prayers and blessings of sick and dying soldiers, the thanks of the 
no longer ignorant, will linger in the memory of your agents, and be 


repeated to their children, as, next to the approbation of God, the 

highest reward a g 1 man can receive. And after the soldier's 

work was done, and the impoverished cities of the South came into 

tlic |Kisscs>i(in id' < 1 1 1 1- armies, the agents of v ■ (' nission were 

among the first there to feed the crowd of hungry, almost starving, 
poor, who, while the means lasted, were never turned away empty- 
handed from their doors. 

What aid I could give the modest, unassuming Christian gentle- 
men who were with the troops] commanded, as Christian Commis- 
sioners, was always given with pleasure. I knew they would give 
a good account of their stewardship. 
I am, sir, yours truly, 

E. O. C. Oed, Major-Gt nt ml < 'ommanding. 


War Department, Surgeon General's Office, ) 
u lshing i"v D. i !., January 15, 1866. i 

Geo. S.Stuart, Esq., Chairman U.S. C. C: — 

Sir: 1 congratulate you that the work nt' your Association is 

drawing to a close, with such flattering evidence of the energy and 
success with which its objects have been accomplished. 

It is not only within my own observation, hut is also tie testimony 
of medical officers generally, that the United States Christian Com- 
mission has always co-operated zealously and efficiently with the 
proper authorities, complying cheerfully with the conditions upon 
which the fullest aid of this Department has always been extended 
toit. in thehunianeefiort to convey relief and comfort to our soldiers 
both in the field and in hospital. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

J. K. Barnes, Surgeon- General. 


Ql ( i:|'i:km ISTEH ' rENER u ,'S ' Trie I:, ) 

Washington, D. C., January 16, 1866. / 
Geo. H. Stuart, Esn., Chairman I'. S. C. G, Phila., Pa.: — 

Dear Sir: I have received your letter of the 15th instant, in 
which, on the part of the Christian Commission, vmi acknowledge 
the cordial aid received by the Commission from the officers of the 
Quartermaster's Department, under my orders and instructions 


Please accept my thanks for the graceful and gratifying terras in 
which this co-operation and assistance, on the part of the Quarter- 
master's Department, have been acknowledged. I have had occa- 
sion to notice the operations of the Commission during my occasional 
visits to the front, and 1 gladly bear testimony to the good which I 
personally saw them doing. At Chattanooga, during the dreary 
days of want and suffering following the battle of Chickamauga, 
the agents of the Christian Commission moved among the sick and 
wounded, carrying spiritual consolation to the bed-sides of the suffer- 
ing and dying. These agents conducted religious services in the 
churches of Chattanooga, well attended by the soldiers, until the 
return of our wounded sent in by the rebels under flag-of-truce made 
it necessary to occupy every church building as a hospital. I my- 
self gladly attended these services, and recognized in the agents of 
the Commission a pure and patriotic religious zeal. At Belle Plain, 
when through that place were passing the tens of thousands of 
wounded removed from the battlefields of the "Wilderness and Spott- 
svlvania, and in the crowded hospitals and churches of Fredericks- 
burg, filled with those too much injured to be removed, I again met 
the agents of the Christian Commission, and found them perform- 
ing those services, which in a loyal district would be offered to the 
sick and wounded by sympathizing residents. While not familiar 
with the general operations of the Commission, I can speak of the e 
examples from personal knowledge, and I have heard none but 
favorable reports of their conduct wherever they have penetrated. 

Congratulating you upon the good record of the Commission, and 
rejoicing that the final victory of truth and freedom has relieved its 
members of their labors, I am, very respectfully and truly, 
Your obedient servant, 

M. C. Meigs, Quartermaster-General, 

Brevet Major-General U. S. A. 


43 East Thirty-Sixth Street. New York, January IS, 1866. 

Dear Sir : I feel satisfied that no one would bear higher testimony 

in behalf of the Christian Commission than myself. Although, from 

our peculiar organization and the smallness of our numbers, we were 

less dependent in the navy than in the army upon its bounties, still 


we always had the assurance from its benevolent agents that we 
could have everything we desired, bui our knowledge of the fad 
that our brethren of the army were liable to a greater accumulation 
of suffering and privations, owing to the difficulties of transportation, 
etc., made us always content that they should be recipients of the 
greatest amount of your benevolence, and it is certain that wherever 
I went I always heard the Christian Commission, its generous phi- 
lanthropy and patriotic devotion, most warmly extolled. My per- 
sonal admiration of the generosity and sacrifices made by many of 
your noble Society is unbounded, and I have no doubt it will receive 

the blessingsof God and of the whole untry. 

Please convey to your associates in the Commission these my sen- 
timents of high appreciation, and accept yourself my sincere esteem. 
Very respectfully, 

D. G. Fakkagut, Vice-Admiral. 
Geo. H. Stuaet, Esq., Chairman U.S. C. G. 


Mr. Colfax now introduced Charles De id, Esq., of Huston, who addressed 

tin- audience as follows : — 

I have been asked to speak, as one of the original members of the 
Christian Commission and of its Executive Committee. It was my 
good fortune to draw the resolutions which were adopted in the Con- 
vention that formed the Christian Commission, held in New York, 
November 14, 1861 ; and I have had the- privilege of aiding in its 
management ever since. Its object, as stated in those resolutions, 
\\a> to promote the spiritual and temporal welfare of the soldiers and 
sailors. < hir sons and brothers had left the comforts, privileges, and 

safeguards of home, to meet in our behalf the privations, the temp- 
tations, and the perils of war. Wo desired to carry to them in the 
camp, the hospital, and on the battle-field, so thr as practicable, the 
kind care, the sympathy, and the religious privileges of home. This 
has been the great aim of the Commission during its whole exist- 
ence, and has called forth all its varied and wonderful ministrations. 
On the 10th of December, 1861, seven of us met in this city to see 
what could he done, and to devise means. We continued in session 
three days, visiting in the meantime the Army of the Potomac, then 


encamped just across the river, and calling- upon the President and 
Secretaries of War and the Navy. The President expressed a deep 
interest in the proposed work, and we have good reason to know that 
this interest continued and increased, SO lone, as he was spared to 
guide anil bleSS the people whom he so loved, and who so loved him. 

The Secretaries of War and the Navy cheered us by the promise of 
all proper facilities, and General Cameron, then Secretary of War, 

gave US courage by telling us, in most decided tones, that what we 
proposed to do was just what was needed; that the nation was en- 
gaged in a religious war, and our work would give courage to the 
men and help the Government; and, continued he, "this depart- 
ment will aid you all it properly can," — a promise most nobly kept 
by him, and by the great man who succeeded him, to whom we are 
all so much indebted for the successful termination of the war. In 
our visit to the camp we were astonished at the eagerness of the men 
for religious reading and instruction, and at the vast work ready and 
urgent to he done. We stopped at Falls Church, then used as a, 
hospital, — a sad scene of suffering and need. We spoke kind words 
to all the brave sufferers, ami then Rev. Dr. Ncale, of Boston, one of 

our number, prayed with and for some who were very sick. The 
m-xi morning, on taking up the daily paper here, we saw that two 
of those brave men had died during the night. This day's experi- 
ence gave us a deep ami lasting impression that there was a vast 
work to he done, and that what we did for many a noble man must 
he done quickly. With this impression strong in our hearts, and 
without one dollar in the treasury, we left this city to begin our 
work. The result, so far as words and figures can tell, you have 
heard. In view of these results we may reverently say. " It is the 
Lord's doings, anil is marvellous in our eyes." Hut no words or 
figures can give any adequate idea of the good done, the men com- 
forted, the lives saved, the souls directed to heaven. 

Allow me now, sir, to allude briefly to some ot the causes of this 
wonderful success. The first great cause, of course, was the remark- 

ahle readiness ot' the people of the w hole North to do and give every- 
thing that would aid the nation in its gigantic struggle for life. To 
save the ( rovernment, at any cost of life or treasure, was the determi- 
nation that sent our host and noblest young men to the field of strife; 
that put three thousand millions ot' dollars into our national treasury; 


thai poured out millions more to care for, comfort and cheer the be- 
loved ones given up for the country ; and that gave fervency and con* 
tinuance to the prayers that went up to (1ml from si. many millions 
of hearts ami family altars. Hut the Christian Commission attrib- 
utes its surcoss, among the soldiers, largely to tin' character of its 
laborers and of their work in the army. In each great army,and in 
mark every corps, the Commission had a few nun who were paid 
small salaries, and who remained permanently to direct the work. 
With them, and under their direction, labored a large number of 
men whom we called Delegates. A Delegate was one who would 
give sis \\eek>' time in the army, without compensation, — the ( lorn- 
mission paying his expenses. By the kindness of the railroads all 

Over the land, ill giving passes, their expenses were small. Thus 
must id' the work of this nnhle charity in the army has been dune by 
men who have received no pay, who left the comforts of home and 

met the hardships of the camp simply to do g 1 to the bodies and 

souls nf the soldiers. All the men sent out by this Commission pro- 
fessed to have adopted, as the rule of their lives, the precepts and 
example of the blessed Lord, who left the glories of lio:iven to seek 
and save the lost. As they were commissioned they were told to go 
to the army, and in camp and on the battle-field, in the hospital and 
by the way, to do tin- those they met " whatsoever thej would that 
men should do unto them." And I think 1 am authorized to say that 
never, since that wonderful saying tell from the lips of Jesus, has its 
spirit been more fully, nobly, and heroically carried into practice 
than by these Delegates. Nearly five thousand such men have gone 
to the army to labor, " without money and without price." In this 
work judges have left the bench, professors their chairs, clergymen 
their parishes, lawyers their briefs, doctors their patients, merchants 

their goods, mechanics their simps, students their I ks, and even 

members of Congress their seats. Like the Master, they cared for 
the body in all its wants, and at the same time tillered the bread and 
water of life to the hungry, fainting souls. 

Allow me to give a few specimens of their work. After the battle 

of < lettysburg a I delegate from Maine, a brother of the gallant ( tene- 
ral Chamberlain, heard just at night of a hospital, some miles away, 
that had not been visited. Though wearied with the labors of the 

day, he went to it at once on foot. lie found the head surgeon .-ick, 


and the assistant overwhelmed with the care of some two hundred 
wounded, and no stores or comforts. He told the doctor that (here 
was a station of the Sanitary Commission within a mile, and asked 
why he had not got stores. The doctor said he did not know how to 
get them. The i (elegate wrote an order on the Sanitary Com mission, 
the doctor signed it, and the Delegate went to the station oftheSani- 
tary Commission and found that they had gone away. What was to 
he done? It was late; he was very weary. It was nearly live miles 
to Gettysburg, where was the station of the Christian Commission, 
and the road was hard, and the streams all high anil swollen. But 
the men were suffering, and there was no one but him to help. He 
took the long and lonely walk, and very early the next morning the 

wag if the Christian Commission was at that hospital, laden with 

stores and comforts tor the heroic sufferers. The same Delegate 
came one day upon an out-of-doors hospital, where the men were 
lying in the July sun, with no shelter. After looking a moment he 
took a stone and stick, and arranged the blanket of a soldier so as to 
shield his face. Others caught the idea, and soon every one in the 
hospital was sheltered from the burning and torturing blaze of the 

These are hut specimens of the work. Whatever was needed by 
Buffering humanity was done by these men, who at home were not 
accustomed to labor or privation. They labored hard; they lived 
upon camp fare; they slept often upon the ground. Many of them 
gave up their lives, a willing sacrifice, and at least one-half of them 
came home sick, and all this from love to Christ and men. Thou- 
sands of lives were saved, and hundreds of thousands of sufferers were 

Need I say that when these men told the soldier, — by his bedside 
in the hospital, from the pulpits of the hundreds of chapels of the 
Christian Commission, or by the camp-fire under the blue arch of 
heaven, — of that Jesus in whose name they came, the power of 
whose gospel sent them there, the message was gladly received, the 
heart was open and tender, and that many and many a noble veteran 
enlisted under the banner of the cross? From all parts of the army. 
East and West, and from the almost innumerable hospitals of the 
land, came up tidings of wonderful conversions and reformations, by 
thousands and tens of thousands ; the moral tone oi' the army was 

THE FOURTH Yi:.\i:. 253 

raised, and its military efficiency increased. Before such self-deny- 
ing labors prejudices disappeared and ignorance was turned into 

Ai the time of , Lee's first invasion of Maryland some Delegates 
were senl to Fairfax Station, to be ready when the wounded should 
come in. There was a quartermaster in charge who had never heard 
of the Christian Commission. He told the Delegates he could do 
nothing for them. It was Sunday, and they could not buy any food. 
Their stores had not arrived, and all the food they had was given 
tlirin by a negro. At night the quartermaster told them thej looked 
like gentlemen and he did not wish to have them lie out of doors, 
and they might sleep in a barn he had charge of. Early nexj 
morning Mr. Cole, our Field Agent, came into the place with stores 
and the news that the wounded would soon be there. At once they 
wenl tn the station, prepared bread, jelly and coffee, and as the 
wounded arrived, tenderly took them from the ear-, led and bathed 
them, and cared lor their wants. The quartermaster stood by and 
Watched them, tears began to roll down his cheeks, and going lip to 
them he said, " Is that what you do ? I never heard of you, — what, 
can I do? — for you shall have everything you waul." 

The favor and love of the army were with these men, and were 
most touchingly expressed by a soldier who had been eared for by 
us, and was (old he had but live minutes to live. " liaise me to my 
knee-," he -aid, " that I may pray for the ( 'hri.-tian ( lommission." 

After the battles of ( Jeneral Sheridan, in the Valley of the Shen- 
andoah, the wounded were carried some twenty miles in ambulances 
to Martinsburg, to take the cars. We had a station nearly a mile 
from the depot, of which the Rev. Mr. Harding, of Maine, had 
charge. When the first train came in Mr. Harding found thai no 

preparation had been made to feed and care for the men, wearied, 

hungry, and suffering from the long and agonizing ride. He at once 
went to In- tent, prepared a large iron kettle full of hot tea, took 

bread and jellies, and, assisted by another clergyman, carried his 
kettle on a pole to the depot, fed all the men, washed their lace- and 
hands, and then tenderly helped them into the cars, doing all that 
he could for their comfort. After this, the man in charge of each 
successive nam rode ahead, and notified him of the approach of the 

Wounded, ami they received like care, till about 2,500 men passed 


through his hands, all of whom received their sole nourishment from 
him and his associates. 

The fact that the Delegates were just from the North, and often 
brought news from loved ones at home, gave them additional favor 
with the army. Their hearts were warm. They had not become 
accustomed to the sad and necessary scenes of military life, and 
they were ready to sympathize with all who were in sorrow of body 
or mind. This the soldiers knew and appreciated. One day a sol- 
dier came into one of our tents in Virginia, sat down, and said he 
wanted a little talk with us. He was in trouble, and told his story. 
Rev. Mr. Bailey, of New Hampshire, the Delegate, said kindly in 
reply, " Well, my good friend, I am sorry for you, but we can do 
nothing for you." "I know you cannot," said he, "but I thought a, 
word or two of sympathy from a Christian man would help me a good 
deal." Said a fine young soldier to the Rev. Mr. Clark, of Massa- 
chusetts, "There is one thing we can get only from you gentlemen, 
and that's sympathy." How precious at such times must have been 
a word of kindness and sympathy to a soldier, far from home, and 
under the stern rules and regulations of war. The scenes and dan- 
ger- of war naturally caused the soldier to think upon his relations 
to, and preparation for, a future life. Fresh recruits might be light, 
and speak triflingly of the fight and the charge, but in the Army 
of the Union most of the veterans were accustomed to think seri- 
ously, and in the terrible light of the battlefield the old impressions 
of Sabbath and church, and the early instructions of childhood, 
were often brought to view with fearful distinctness. Such impres- 
sions were seized upon by the Delegate, and frequently proved the 
voice of God calling his wandering children back to himself. There 
was a man wounded in the first day's fight at Pittsburg Landing. 
He lay all Sunday night in a tent, held by the rebels, on the ground, 
in the mud, uncared for. During the long and terrible night, amid 
the rain and roar of the artillery, there came vividly back to him 
the text and all the argument of a sermon he had heard twenty 
years before. The next day, when our troops succeeded, he was 
rescued and taken to St. Louis, where he was cared for by the mem- 
bers of the Young Men's Christian Association. The Holy Spirit 
sent home the impression of that night, and that seed, twenty years 
buried, sprang up and brought forth fruit in his conversion. He 


lived six weeks, to give testimony to God's goodness, and died in 
joy and hope, his last words being, "My God — my country — my 

These Delegates, on their return home, were the main dependence 
of the Commission in the raising of funds and stores. Every Dele- 
gate told his story of what he had seen and done in the army, often 
many times, and funds poured in without the cost of agents to col- 
lect. One Delegate in my own State, a merchant, spent his six 
weeks in the army, leaving his business, and then upon his return 
told his story several times each Sabbath, for nearly six months, 
obtaining many thousands of dollars at no cost to the Commission. 
Others did nearly as much. People seemed anxious to send of their 
abundance to those who were in the post of danger and suffering. 
Some of the most delightful memories of my life are in connection 
with this free giving. It was my privilege, with others, to sit on the 
Exchange in Boston, after the battles of Gettysburg, the Wilderness, 
and after the taking of Richmond, to receive the voluntary offerings 
of the people for the relief of the wounded. No one was asked to 
give. No attempt was made to awaken enthusiasm, except by giving 
notice in each day's papers of the fact, and of the sums given. In a 
few days, on the first occasion, 835,000 were handed in ; on the 
second occasion, over §60,000; and on the third, 830,000. These 
munificent sums were made up of comparatively small contributions, 
— only one sum as large as 81,000 was given, and from that to ten 
cents. It was a movement of the people. At times there was a 
crowd around the tables, and many were waiting their turn to give. 
When we were receiving money, after the battle of Gettysburg, one 
day there was written upon the great blackboard on which were put 
the telegraph dispatches, 

" Vicksburg has surrendered. U. S. Graht." 

Instantly shouts went up from the assembled merchants. They all 
uncovered and joined in singing 

" Praise God from whom all blessings flow," etc. 

Some one said, "Let us show our gratitude by our gifts," and the 
crowd came to our table, and fir some time we Could not take the 


money as last as it was offered. The manner of giving was equally 
remarkable. "This is my thank-offering," was a frequent remark; 
" We must take cave of the boys who fight for us," another; while a 
large proportion said with a smile, "If you want more, .all on me." 
Contributions soon began to come in by mail, on each occasion, and 
continued after we had left the Exchange, until the sums received 
were $100,000, 860,000, and 

But large as these gifts were, there are others that in the sight of 
heaven arc larger, 1 think. An old lady, eighty years of age, lived 
in Amherst, Massachusetts, and supported herself by her needle. 
She walked several miles to bring to her pastor this five-cent bill 
(holding it up before the audience), that he might send it to me to 
aid the suffering soldiers. Twenty years ago a dying mother gave to 
her daughter this silver dollar (exhibiting it). She carefully kept 
the last gift of her beloved mother till she heard of the work of the 
Commission. Then she said, " [f my mother were living I know she 
would give this dollar to help the soldiers, so I will do what I think 
she would do," and she put the dear memento into our treasury. A 
widow in New Hampshire sent her only son to war. lie fell and 
was buried in Virginia. When she heard of what was being done 
and what was needed in the army, she gave this her wedding ring 
(showing it i to help the noble sufferers. Such benevolence makes 
even the smoke and carnage of our terrible battles radiant with the 
reflected brightness of heaven. 

Incidentally the Christian Commission has done much to aid the 
t rovernment, both by raising the tune of the army and by promoting 
patriotism at home. All of its nearly five thousand Delegates have 
been not only Christians, hut thoroughly loyal men. and their ad- 
dresses at home, as well as in the army, have ever been unmistakably 
on the side of the Government, ami this at some periods of the war 
lias been an element of much importance and power. 

Another incidental result of the Commission was a Christian union, 
in full and perfect operation, in the only way in which it has seemed 
to me possible, by the working together in a great cause of those who 
differ in non-essential points of belief. "When men labor and suf- 
fer together, for the one Lord whom they all love ami by whose 
death they all live, there is Christian union indeed, such as no high 
sounding resolutions can produce. All differences disappear from 


sight. In the tents (if the Commission were found often as man] 
denominations as men; and as they sung, prayed, preached, and 
labored together, there was no rivalry, excepl in good works. I 
know of no.trouble in the army from denominational jealousy, and 
in the home field the denominations have worked together in the 
same harmony. May we not hope that this army work, so strange, 
so unique in the world's history, may be the beginning of the day 
when all the branches of the host who love the Lord Jesus, like the 
different corps of a great army, shall march together under one 
leader, — striving only in this, that each shall do its pari in hastening 
on the time when the kingdoms of this earth "shall become the king- 
dom of our Lord and oi' his Christ '!" 

Such are some of the results of the Commission. Formed in weak- 
ness, yet in humble dependence upon God, we believe it has received 
his favor. and blessing, and been the means not only of giving un- 
speakable comfort to the body, but of shedding the light of heaven 
into the dark valley, as thousands of our noble and heroic "ues have 
walked therein. At the battle id' Stone River, during one of the 
lulls of the terrible fight, a youthful voice was heard calling for aid. 
Boon it was drowned by the tumult of battle. A.fter the fight was 
over some soldiers went to look for the sufferer. On going through 
some high bushes they saw a soldier hoy of about sixteen, sitting up 
against a tree. As they came near they saw that both his feet had 
been carried away by a cannon ball. Upon his lap lay his open 
Bible. His eyes were raised to heaven. A look of joy was on his 
(ace, while his finger, stiff and cold in death, was laid upon this verse 
of the 23d Psalm, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the 
shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod 

and thy Staff they comfort me." 

I have detained you too long already, but T cannot refrain from 
alluding to the song next to !»■ sung, which so beautifully and touch- sets forth the principle that has guided us in all our labors, — 
"The doing with all our ability the work immediately before us." 
This Bong was sung at our anniversary, held here one year ago, by 
the accomplished musician who will to-night delight us again. Among 
the hearers was the great, good, gentle President Lincoln. He was 
moved even to tears byits touching melody, and at hi< request it was 

repeated. lie is not with US now. In the simple Words of the SOOg, 



in the conflict he has proved himself a soldier true, with malice 
toward none, with charity to all. "He has been a true disciple," 
and is now, -we doubt not, "sitting at his Saviour's feet," joining 
heart and voice in the song, more sweet, more loud, the "Song of 
Moses and the Lamb." 

Speaker Colfax said, I regret to inform yon that the Hon. James Harlan 
(Secretary of the [nterior) is detained by indisposition at home, and will not 
be able to '»' here as announced. Before singing the beautiful and impressive 
b vnin, " Yui i: Mission," next in order on the programme, let me read a brief 
note from the paper I bold in my hand. <»n the 29th of January, 1866, at the 
last anniversary meeting of this Commission, when hostile armies were con- 
tending together in deadly strife, this poem was sung as a part of the exercises 
of the evening. Abraham Lincoln, with his tall form, his care-furrowed face, 
and his nobly throbbing heart, was here, and, after listening in tears, he sent 
up, written upon the back of this programme (holding up the precious sheet), 
in that plain, familiar handwriting, by that hand that now lies cold in the 
grave, this request : — 

Near On close, let ics have " Tour Mission!' repeated by Mr. Phillips. Don't say I 
calledfor it. Lincoln. 

The hymn was sung by Mr. Philip Phillips, as follows: 

Your Mission. 

If you cannot on the ocean 

Sail among He' swiftest Heel. 
Rocking on He' highest billows, 

Laughing at the storms you meet ; 
V jan stand among the sailors, 

Anchor'.! y.-l within the bay, 
5Tou •■an lend a hand to help them. 

As thev launch their boats away. 

If you have not gold and silver 
Ever ready to command ; 

If you cannot towards the needy 
Reach an ever open hand; 

Yi'ii can \ isit tie' afflicted. 

i Per the erring yon can weep, 
3fou can be a true disciple, 

Si i 1 1 ii m at the Saviour's feet. 

If you are too weak to journey 

Up the mountain, steep and high : 
You can stand within the valley, 

While the multitudes go by : 
You can chant in happy measure, 

As they slowly pass along, 
Though they may fa-get the singer. 

They will not forget the song. 

If you cannot, in the harvest, 

Garner up the richest sheaves, 
Many a grain, both ripe and golden, 

Will the careless reapers leave; 
Go and glean among the briers, 

Growing rank against the wall. 
For it may lie that their shadow 

Hides the heaviest wheat of all. 

the fourth vi:ai:. 257 

[fyovi cannol in il onflicl I 1 " not, then, Btand idly waiting, 

Prove yourself a Boldier true, For some greater work n< 'l<»; 

It. where fire and s ke are thickest, improve each passing moment, 

There's no work for you to do j Spr our moments may be few; 

When Hi" battle-field is silent, Go and toil in any vine, ard, 

V an go With careful tread, Do not fear to do or dare ; 

Y an bear away the wo Led, II" you want a field of labor, 

Y.iu can cover up the dead. You can find it any whore. 


Bear-Admiral < !harles 1 1. I tavis, of the United States Navy, was m-Nt intro- 
duced by the Chairman, and spoke as follows: — 

It is a very welcome thing to mc to have an opportunity to-night 
to express, in behalf of the navy, the profound sense of gratitude of 
my own branch of the public service toward its benefactors, the offi- 
cers and servants of the Christian Commission. And this is the 
most appropriate occasion for such an expression, when the Commis- 
sion is about to close its labors, and render the final ai unt of its 

stewardship. Now that another of the great institutions of the war 
is about to pass out of existence, the value of its services is brought 
more forcibly than ever to our minds. These services are duly 
recorded in reports and set forth in statistical tables. From these 
we can learn how wide the field of its. labors has been, and how vast 
and vari-d the amount of its benefactions. At home and in the 
licld. in the kitchen and in the chapel, on the quarter-deck of the 
gunboat and on the forecastle, in the hospital and in the school, on 
the march and in camp, wherever the soldier or seaman was to he 
found, wherever the hand of benevolence could administer relict', or 
the voice of religion could lead the distressed spirit by the still 
water-, there its distributors, its preachers, its Delegates, its mission- 
aries, its ae'cnts, its collectors, and its numerous officers, of both Sexes, 

have labored in this great Christian undertaking, prompted by 

patriotism and inspired by the spirit of our Divine Master, whose 
soldiers they were, 

" Under whose blessed cross 

We wore impressed and engaged to fight." 

No service seemed to he too great tor the boldness of their enter- 
prise, and none so small as to escape their sacred sense of duty. If 



they endeavored to place in the hand of the dying soldier the rod 
ami the staff thai comforted him when he entered into the valley of 
the deep shadows, they not the less sought to enliven the weary hours 
of the bed of prolonged sickness by histories, biographies, and 
travels, by treatises of science, and by books of poetry and fiction, 
selected with scrupulous care. If they supplied medicines and 
homes, they also gave the ever-blessed cup of cold water. Their 
Testaments and telegraphs, their steamboat and railroad transporta- 
tions, their mail and other facilities, bestowed with the free hand of 
an unstinted liberality, all command our wonder and admiration. 

And again, the mosl hasty examination of their reports shows 
how extensive was the geographical region embraced in their 
labors, — indeed, as extensive as the continent, reaching from the 
Atlantic to the l'acitic, and following the windings of the great 
Mississippi, whose 1 full, deep, and enriching stream is the natural and 
suitable type of the benevolence of this Association, of which the 
current, though like that id' the Father of Water-, sometimes ob- 
structed by hanks and shoals, yet, like that again, derived from 
these very obstacles a new force, and was carried by them into new 
channels, where its fertilizing power made itself known by its con- 
tributions to the glory of tin' Creator and the good of man. 

All this appears to the eye on glancing over the published papers 
of the institution. But there are two respects in which the benevo- 
lent labors of the Christian Commission are not so evident, in which 
they strike down, if possible, into a deeper and more precious vein. 

1 mean first to speak of the incalculable amount id' consolation, 
of the infinite peace and comfort, it has conferred upon friends and 
relations at home, by its ministrations to the sick, and more espe- 
cially to the dying, who might never else have heard the voice of the 
consoler or received those tender sympathies on which the parting 
soul relies, and which the closing eye requires, llow many of us 
who are present have offered up our youngest and our best, in their 
brightest bloom and beauty of youth, a ready and w illiug sacrifice 
upon the sacred altar o\' our country's service! I need not say how 
cheerfully this sacrifice has been made. But I must say. to the 
honor of the Christian Commission, that this sacrifice has found 
oftentime its greatest alleviation in the knowledge that the ministra- 
tions of the church have accompanied our children and friends 


through every scene of danger and suffering, and only lefl them 
when they had passed beyond the reach of earthly offices, or when 
the happy return of peace had restored them to their homes, — to 
homes which derived fresh dignity and felicity from their deeds and 
sufferings, performed and encountered for the nations sake. 

Tlic other particular to which I refer, and in regard to which we 
can never count our obligations to the members of the Christian 
Commission, is the effect upon both arm- of the service, and by refles 
action upon the country, by adding to the former an organized reli- 
gious institution, devoted nol only and exclusively to works and 
word- of piety, but embracing in the scope of its self-imposed duties 
all the abounding and far-reaching charities of the Christian char- 
acter and office. We witness some evidences of tins in the reports, 
we sec how the word spoken in season lias been received with advan- 
tage, and we know that, in the nature of things, it could not be 
otherw ise. 

But these ami similar moral agencies are not to he weighed and 
measured by any ordinary standards, or by any effects that fall 
under common observation. There is enough however to enable us 
to perceive that the active members of the Christian Commission 
have been co-workers with the army and navy in the field, and to 
SUggesI the idea that hereafter such an institution ought to form an 
essential part of a great military establishment in time of war. We 
owe to it the preservation of the moral influences of home and of 
ill. restraints of society in remote and boisterous seine-, where both 
are liable to he forgotten or neglected. We owe to it no doubt the 
return of many a young soldier to the domestic fireside, not hardened 
and corrupted, but strengthened and tried, by a long life in .amp-. 
And we feel assured that under this general view there lie, concealed 
from human sight, many of the rewards of the good and faithful 
servant, and many of the blessings that fell from the lips of those 
who were ready to perish. 

A.mong the future historians of this BtTUggle there must he one 
who will make it his whole business to elucidate the part performed 
by the Christian Commission, and to impress upon the mind- of the 
generations to come that to its organization ami efficient working in 
all its branches, beginning with the elementary local societies that 
gathered in the first subscriptions, to the active nurses, physicians, 


and preachers on the field of actual battle, we owe, in great measure, 
this one grand result : that by adding to the army and navy an organ- 
ized religious society, which everywhere combined the ministrations 
and services of the church with the operations of war, and by their 
practically blending together the duties and sentiments of the camp 
and quarter-deck and those of religion, it has aided to elevate the mind 
of the patriotic soldier or seaman to the most exalted conception of 
his duty. 


The Key. Herricb Johnson, of Pittsburg, Pa., was the next speaker. He 
said : — 

Mr. < '/minium, Ladies mill Gentlemen: It has been remarked that 
the work and the life of the Christian Commission' have closed. It 
is true that, as an organized outward agency, it is a thing of the 
past. Bui as an unseen, subtle power, entering into the moral forces 
that are henceforth to do their part in Cod's great evangelisms, as a 
demonstration of unselfish, heroic achievement, as an inspiration to 
a like effort in a time of war, it is not dead, — it will never die. The 
form is gone. Its living, animating spirit is a thing of God, to be 
forever. 1 need not ask for a better vindication of my words than 
this gathering here to-night. Generals and statesmen are here to 
pay this long-ago practically disbanded organization deserved enco- 
miums. The representatives of the nation arc here to make grateful 
offering for its ministry of love and blessing. Bereaved mothers all 
over the land are here in spirit, invoking licnisons on its officers and 
agents, ami thanking God that it ever had an existence. May it not 
he that others are here, whose souls have been " inarching on " ever 
since they fought their last battle, who were made soldiers of Christ 
through the agency of this Christian Commission, before they met 
and conquered their last foe, and who now, with their warfare all 
accomplished, look down with interest upon this scene to-night. 

Into such presence I am summoned, as one who lias been in the 
Commission's work, to be a voice for its deeds, to place brief record 
of its holy doing amidst their coronation hour, that others mure lit 
than 1 may set it round with glowing and peerless eulogy. How can 
I do this better than by saying that the Commission had in substance 
a three-fold office? It aimed to reach and link together the battle- 

Tin; FOURTH YEAR. 261 

field, home, heaven, — the heart of the soldier, the parent's heart, and 
the hearl of ' fod. 

Well ilii I remember with what feelings we left Washington in 
May, 1864, just after the battle of Hi'' Wilderness. Some of the 
slightly wounded were even then mi their way to the city, but thou- 
sands <ni thousands far worse off were down at Fredericksburg, ami 
wewere impatient to he there, to help in God's oanie the men who 
had already written history with their blood. We found them, ten 
thousand of them, — in the streets, in the offices, in the houses, in tin; 
churches; in every conceivable form of mutilation, gashed ami 
mangled with shot ami shell ; hungering, thirsting, bleeding, dying; 
.-hot through the head, lungs, thighs, everywhere. Ami in kneel 
beside these men, in minister unto them, in bathe their heated brows 

ami i 1 their parched lips, ami dress their wounds ami wash their 

till ami feed them, ami to have them vain upon you their hearty 
" Thank you's" ami " ( Sod !>!<-> you's," oh, it was a new baptism to 
In' baptized with! It was work that Christ smiled on,— for he, 
knowing that he was come from God ami went to God, took a towel 
and girded himself, and washed his disciples' feet. Thus by the 
little delicacies ami loving ministries we first found our way down 
through thr roughness ami the hardness, through the reserve ami the 

reticence, through the bolted ami thr barred d 's, down into tin' 

soldiers' hearts, — tor tin' hardest ami thr roughest of them had a 
heart, -ami, reaching this, how easily ami naturally came the words, 
home, wife, mother ! Whal memories these charmed words called 
up! what fountains tiny stirred in those manly bosoms! and 
away went m issages of love from the Bufferers to the loved ours at 

h" , hundreds of them every day written by the Delegates. And 

whal is next to home and mother? What but heaven and Jesus? 
And so we led their thoughts there. To the dying we spoke of him 

who -aid. " lie thai liveth and In ilieveth ill me -hall never die." To 

the suffering we repeated the precious word.-, "Come unto me all ye 
thai labor and are heavy laden, ami I will give you rest." 

Go with me fiir a moment and look upon one of these hospital 
scenes. There lies a young soldier wounded unto death. "What can 
I do fur you, my brave fellow?" " Speak to me of Jesus ;" and the 

word- that Suggest themselves are, 


"Jesus, lover of my soul, 
Let me to thy bosom fly." 

" Oh, won't you sing them, sir?" And another wounded soldier, 
lying near, takes up the words and sings, 

"Jesus, lover of my soul, 
Let me to thy bosom fly." 

And then the dying drummer-boy repeats the prayer, and even while 
the words are on his lips the prayer is answered, and his soul is away 
on it.- flight to the bosom of Jesus. 

I remember a soldier from Maine who had lost his left leg. The 
little delicacies and attentions had opened his heart. He had told 
me of his widowed mother and loving sisters, and I had written his 
message home, and back came their noble answer, saying, "We can- 
not be thankful enough to God, if from the glorious Army of the 
Potomac he give us back our darling with only the loss of one leg." 
And from that couch of suffering was sent up a message to heaven 
also. And that, I believe, found answer, — more blessed even than 
the message home. For hours and days he had been lying on the 
hard floor, with nothing but a blanket under him, restless and sleep- 
less from the shock his nervous system had received. There in the 
dusk of evening, with his hand close clasped in mine, the patient 
hero breathed his low prayer, " Oh Father, God, be pitiful, — be mer- 
ciful. — give me rest, — rest of body and of soul, — Oh, give me rest." 
And the hard floor seemed to grow woolly soft, as if Jesus had pil- 
low,.] ii, and rest, "of rest God's rest the best,'" came to that tired 
heart. "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings 
shalt thou trust." 

I recall another, a young sergeant, in that hospital at Fredericks- 
burg, one of whose limbs had been sadly shattered. He was a brave, 
patient buy, but remarkably reticent, resolutely maintaining a cold 
reserve. For days he was proof against all kindness, but at last I 
found the way down into his heart's secret place of tenderness and 
tears, and the great drops wet his cheeks as he told me how he had 
run away from home and almost broken his mother's heart. He said 
his own pain was nothing to the trouble he had given her. " Shall 
I write to your mother," I asked, " and tell her how and where you 

tite fourth teak. -!>'■) 

arc?" "Oli yes," said he; "but break the news gently, break it 
gently, and oh, tell her how sorry I am for having laid such a bur- 
den on her loving heart." And then we talked of another home he 
had wandered from and another heart he had grieved, and I asked 
him if he hadn'1 a penitent message to send home to God. Ere long 
1 believe there was joy in the presence of the angels over the return 
of one more prodigal. The surgeons at last decided that this young 
sergeant's leg musl be amputated, and very soon it became manifest 
that even this would not save him, and wo told him he must die. 
lie was ready; arms, haversack, canteen, blanket, all hail been losl 
on the battle-field, but he had clung to the flag he bore, and he lay 
there with the stars and stripes wrapped about him. Just as he was 
dying his lip- moved. We stooped to listen. He was making his 
last charge: "Come on, boys! our country and our flag- forever!" 
We asked him, "Is the Saviour with you?" And he whispered, 
"Do you think he would pass by and not take me? I go, I go." 
And wrapped in stars he went up among the stars. 

So the Christian Commission has sought to do its. work; first the. 
hospital or liattle-field, then home, then heaven ; first to the heart of 
the soldier, then to the mother's heart, then to the heart of ( kid. 

It was once my privilege to stand upon the summit of Mount 
Right in Switzerland, and from its queenly top witness an autumnal 

sunset. Far away to the West the narch of day wrapped the 

drapery of his couch about him and lav down as if he were a god 
confessed. He flung his splendors on that unequalled landscape with 
royal iniiniiieoncv. He kissed the water- that lay embosomed among 
the hills till I hey all Mushed. The bald peaks to the right and the: 
left of u- ha red their storm-beaten brows and bathed in the sunlight. 
And higher up and farther away the snow-capped monarchs of the 
Alps tossed back the sun's last rays from their icy Miles in cold and 
proud disdain. But more beautiful than all, the gem of that most 
wondrous picture, was the bridge of golden sheen that stretched over 
hills and valley-, and lakes and dells, from the far distant horizon to 
our very feet. It seemed as if heaven's gates had been left open and 
glory had stolen through. It was cast up by the hand of (bid, a 
way ol' gold, on which angels might have trodden. So I have stood 
beside the dying soldier, when it has seemed a- if a bridge of golden 
sheen were let down from heaven, — a highway for the ransomed of 


the Lord. And that way, cast up of God, has glowed with the steps 
of the angels, come to bear the soldier, who had made his last charge 
and fought his last battle, home. And up that shining path, with 
angel convoy, the spirit has gone, away from the clang of arms and 
the din of strife, and the groans of the wounded, — away, away, to 
the very gates of pearl, — to the peace like a river, and the rest of 

Oh tins, are tlie undying tokens and proof of the success of the 
Commission, whose final anniversary we celebrate to-night. The 
nation may point to its States won back from treason, the army may 
point to its battle-flags wrung from the toe by vigor and valor and 
victory, generals may point to their starred shoulders as proofs of 
undaunted heroism, sanitary agencies may roll up their peerless 
record of sublime beneficence, — but there, up there, are the souls 
that arc marching on, marching on; there are the trophies immortal, 
that have been snatched from death; there are the unfading stars, 
that have been set in Christ's diadem through the agency of this 
Christian Commission. 

On the conclusion of the above address a stirring patriotic hymn, from the 
"Musical Leaves," entitled "We arc rising as a people," was sung by Mr. 
Phillips, the audience joining in lull chorus. The Honorable Senator from 
Wisconsin, J. R. Doolittle, then spoke as follows: — 


Ladies and Gentlemen of the Christian Commission: I remember 

well when I sat with you at your last anniversary. This Hall was 
crowded to its utmost capacity. In the midst of the assembly was 
one whom I do not see present witli you to-night. As I ascended the 
steps of the Capitol, I saw the flag of our country draped in mourn- 
ing. This tabic is draped in mourning; and to-morrow ' the nation 
assembles here, to pay its tribute of respect to that one who is not 
here to witness the closing scenes of this great charity, to which his 
soul was so devoted. 

My Christian friends, if it were possible for the spirit of our mar- 

i The allusion is to Mr. Bancroft's Eulogy upon President Lincoln, which 
was pronounced, in the presence of Congress and the other Departments of the 
National Government, on the day following the Commission's Anniversary. 


tyred Lincoln to leave the skies; it' it were possible for us to suppose 
thai he stood now in this presence, and although our eyes do nol see 
lii in , vet in our souls we could realize him as being here, what 
message would he bring from the skies? He would saw undoubtedly, 
"God the Father says, 'Bless the Christian Commission; 1 God the 
Saviour says, 'Bless the Christian Commission;' God the Holy 
Spirit says, 'Bless the Christian Commission;' ami the angels in 
heaven all say, ' Bless the Christian Commission.'" And thai mighty 

throng of the departed dead, the angel spirits of those who have gone, 

sacrificed in this war to sustain the Government which we so love, — 
and there are many here who have loved ones there, — they would 
all say, if he could hear their message to us from the skies, ''Bless 
the Christian Commission!" 

My friends, this Commission is indeed, as you have heard to-night, 
the child of the church. In no country, in no age, among no people 
on the face of the earth, has such a manifestation of charity been 
known. And not only is it the child of the church, but our country 
itself, with all its glorious institutions, is the outgrowth of Christian 
civilization. The old world was too crowded, too contracted by its 
systems of government, to give to Christian civilization the full and 
free exercise of its spirit and power. Therefore, in the providence 
of the Almighty Being who rules the universe, this new world of 
ours was reserved for the very purpose of planting a Christian civili- 
zation, and one which should reach its highest development in its 
adaptation to human government. And, my friends, I believe, not 
only as a patriot, but as a bumble Christian, that (bid has a high 
and holy purpose to fulfill through this nation and this people, and 
that we from the beginning have been, are now, and ever shall be. 
Under his own peculiar and special watch ami care; and though wars 
may be permitted in His wisdom to come upon us, and though we 
may pass through fiery trials, such as the baptism of lire and blood 
we have now so recently experienced, I yet believe that God will be 
with U-, that He is with us, leading us upward and heavenward, in 
order that we as a people may realize upon earth ;i higher, a better, 
a diviner life. Therefore I have hailed with joy and watched with 
pride the labors of this (bid-given Christian Commission, and feel 
to-night, if I too may be permitted to raise my humble voice, like 
saying, " Bless the Christian Commission," and 1 speak as a member 



of one of tin' branches of Congress, feeling that I represent also the 
voice of that body. 

Let me say, friends, in n concluding word, that we may well regard 
all human history as divided by the one great fact of the advent of 
Christ upon the earth. " Before Christ," "After Christ," express the 
two great periods of history. All that preceded him but prepared 
the way for his coming, and all that has followed has been blessed 
by his beneficence. And I think that, although the progress of 
humanity has been slow since his appearing on earth, yet, in spite 
of poverty and destitution and ignorance and superstition and toil 
and servitude and suffering, humanity, — poor, fallen, degraded as it 
has been, — is being gradually led upward, by the influences of Chris- 
tianity, to a higher and a better stall'; and this very Christian Com- 
mission, with what it has developed and performed, demonstrates 
that at this hour Christian power and influence upon earth is greater, 
more potent, more beneficent, than at any other period since the 
Saviour appeared. 

It was in view of this that the old Christian poet exclaimed, 

" In the cross of Christ I glory, 

Towering e'er the wrecks of time, 
All the light of sacred story 
Gathers round its head sublime." 

Major-Gciieral George G. Meade. ( 'ommander of the Army el' the PotOUiac, 
had been announced as a speaker, lie was detained from the meeting by sick- 
ness in his family. Major-General Augur, upon a short notice, consented to 
occupy the vacant place. 

When 1 consented to appear upon the platform to-night, I was in 

no way expected to fill the vacancy created by the absence of Gene- 
ral Meade. I do not feel myself competent to fill the place of that 
distinguished officer. And yet 1 am willing at all times to bear my 
feeble but cheerful and grateful testimony to the inestimable value 
of the Christian Commission, not only as an association, but to the 
fidelity and devotion, the quiet and unobtrusive heroism, of its mem- 
bers and agents. I am not unmindful of the fact that, at the com- 
mencement of the late war, it was not an unusual thing to hear this 


association and kindred ones spoken of ;is being unnecessary, and in 
the way; that the Governmenl was abundantly able and willing to 

lake caii' of its nun soldiers, and required mtside aid. And it was 

noi an uncommon thing to see the inapt and unskilled efforts of some 
of its earlier agents provoking the contemptuous sneer and smile. 
But as the war progressed, and on one and another of our battle- 
fields these same agents were found administering to the wants of 
our wounded and dying soldiers, having on hand always, and appa- 
rently in the most miraculous manner, every appliance uecessary at 
any given time, a change began to come over the spirit of men's 
minds with regard to this matter, and these unskilled agents became 
as it were transformed into very angels of mercy. And now that 
the war is oxer, and the good work of the Commission is finished, 1 
presume no one fact is better established in the minds of the people 
of this country than that the Christian Commission has been the 
means of saving hundreds of valuable lives, and of relieving an 
untold amount of human suffering. 

And in estimating the value of the services of the Commission, we 
should not merely regard the material aid or comfort afforded our 
men, however ample and generous that may have been. There is 
another view of it which in my mind is more important than all 
Others. The agents of this Commission were Christian men, men 
who by their precept and example, and by Cod's assistance, were 
enabled to Strengthen many men who were about to fall, to comfort 
and help the weak-liea rted, and to sustain and gather up many a 
man who had already fallen. These men were competent to give 
shape to the thoughts of dying men, to administer the consolations of 

religion to the hearts of men ready to perish, and to bear home to the 
hearts of mothers, widows, wives, — thirsty hearts, — news of the all- 
sent ones, messages of the dying, last tokens of affection, and in many 
instances the words of forgiveness and repentance and hope for the 
future, to calm, to comfort, and to cheer the surviving ones at home. 
Truly the record of the Commission is a fair and full one. It is a 
record of self-sacrifice and devotion which is creditable to us as a na- 
tion and a people, and one of which we may justly be proud. And I 
believe the people, the nation, are proud of it. This meeting to-niglit, 
representing every portion of our COUntrj . is ample public evidence 
that such is the ease. There is other evidence than this, how ev er. 


that should be prized by the agents of this Commission. It is the 
testimony borne by the number of crippled, wounded, and diseased 
men still suffering, who now at homes and around hundreds of fire- 
sides relate again and again their stories of battles and wounds, and 
mingle with their tales their grateful eulogies of the Christian Com- 
mission and kindred agencies, to which they feel that it is mainly 
due that their homes and those of many others in our land are not 
now darkened with the signs of mourning and the habiliments of 
woe. One more class of evidence should be prized, not the less 
because it is not available here. I mean the great mass of unre- 
corded testimony, borne by those whose dying moments in hospital 
and camp have been soothed by the ministrations of the agents of 
this Christian Commission. The great Master has seen and recorded 
this testimony. He whose Spirit prompted and continued this great 
and glorious work has smiled upon these labors, and let us hope and 
believe that he has given evidence ample in his present blessing, and 
that it shall in the future receive that verdict which should be suffi- 
cient for the Christian Commission and for all men, " Well done, 
good and faithful servant." 

Speaker Colfax said: — You have already heard a minister of Christ who 
lias acted as a Delegate of the Commission in the armies of the East ; it would 
be proper now to listen to the testimony of another divine who labored with 
the armies of the West. I have the pleasure of introducing to you the Rev. B. 
\V. Chidlaw, of Ohio. 


Brethren: When I was a boy in Ohio my mother taught me the 
Lesson of obedience, and I do not wish ever to prove recreant to her 
good teachings. Else, sir, I should not dare to stand up before such 
an audience to-night, called out so unexpectedly and suddenly. But, 
brethren and friends, I am ready always to lift up my voice, feeble 
as it may be, for my God and my country. 

The United States Christian ami Sanitary Commissions are insti- 
tutions peculiar to the United States of America. England had a 
Florence Nightingale, whose womanly heart throbbed in earnest 
sympathy with the suffering soldiers of the Crimea. The United 
States of America, embodying the great principles of philanthropy, 
of patriotism, aud of religion, has embodied the sentiment and the 


conviction, the piety and the humanity of Florence Nightingale in 

these am] kindred glorious hist ii utions, that are alike the glory of 
our country ami the honor of our common Christianity. 

The first Delegate of the Christian Commission of whom [ever 
knew was a shepherd boyin Israel. In the midst of war, when his 
brothers were in camp, his lather called him lii him, ami said, " My 
son, go to the front with this parched corn, and cheese, ami these 
barley loaves, ami see how thy brethren fare, and cheer them with 
these presents." Thus curly was fixed the communication between 
the home and the camp. From this source, — the blessed Hunk that 
has God for its author, truth fin' its matter, ami eternal life for its 

grand aim, — the Christian C mission drew its principles ami its 

inspiration. Ami it has a history. Wearewriting ii down to-night, 
ami sealing it with these closing scenes. Its four years' record is 
complete. We are here to close up the army work of tin- American 
people in their homes, and, with the noble army that yon had in the 
held, my illustrious < reneral I turning and addressing himself to < rene- 
ral ( rrant i, we have come to he mustered out of the service. 

The gallant Thirty-Ninth, of Ohio, was mustered in when the call 
of our imperilled country sounded through the land, a thousand 
strong, in .Inly of 186] ; and with our arms and munitions, and our 
knapsacks slung, we marched for Missouri, whose soil the noble 
Lyon had just baptized with his, loyal blood. For four years and 
more that gallant regiment made its history. You had it, my noble 
General I addressing * reneral < rrant I, in the midst, of those illustrious 
regiment- whom you mustered out at Camp Dennison, in Ohio, last 
July. The old chaplain felt a glowing pride in his boys and officers 
of the Thirty-Ninth, and went among them with all his early loyc, 
to see them honorably yield up the service they had been permitted 
to take upon them for their country. Out of the full thousand men 
who left their homes in Ohio, Only three hundred and nine were 
there to give up the arms which they had so bravely wielded for the 

light, under your leadership, < reneral, with such glorious success. 

Brethren of the Christian Commission, and friends in this great 
assembly at the Capitol of my country, we arc hen- to he mustered 
out of tin- Service for our homes and churches, and for ( 'hri-t, among 
the boys in the field. Thank ( rod, t lie days for this service are 0V< r. 

Hut 1 think now of the blessed work of preaching Jesus among my 


men, of what good meetings we had, what glorious prayer-meetings, 
how ray colonel and the officers helped the old chaplain in the work, 
made his heart strong to preach Christ, and helped him in his efforts 
to lead the boys to a higher and holier life, and to fight down the 
rebellion. And just such are the reminiscences of the Commission's 
work. But there are now no more favors to be granted by the 
Government, no more aid to receive at the hands of military officers. 
You gave your favors generously (addressing the distinguished civil 
and military officers around him), and we thank you, in the name of 
the people, and of the churches, ami of all those to whom our work 
came with a blessing; you made our hearts strong and valiant to 
labor for Christ, anil to do good to the bodies as well as to the souls 
of every blue-coat man from the Atlantic to the Pacific. We thank 
you, General, and, through you, your officers; we thank the repre- 
sentatives of our Government, the army and navy, all, for the great 
encouragement and the unexpected and enlarged facilities you gave 
us in our humble ministry. 

And, my brother, (approaching Mr. Stuart, the Chairman of the 
Commission, and, in the midst of great applause, shaking him with 
warm Western earnestness by the hand), my brother, we muster you 
out to-night. We shall not meet with you again, nor with our bre- 
thren of the Commission, in a hundred places, and from thousands 
of platforms and pulpits pleading the cause of the soldier. Blessed 
be God that he gave you, and all the brethren who stood up for the 
Commission at home, in behalf of the men at the front, and reached 
out to the great heart of the men and women of the North, securing 
these six millions of dollars' worth of blessings and comforts, to help 
the American soldier in his noble battle for the Government, and for 
right and truth in the world. 

Yes, brother Delegates, many a scene in the prayer-meeting, 
around the camp-fire, in the hospital, in the tent, when we talked of 
Jesus to the boys in blue, when we mingled our prayers and our 
songs with theirs, and bade them be strong in the Lord and in the 
power of his might, comes to mind now. Happy days. They are 
burned into these hearts of ours, and we shall speak of them when 
the next mustering out comes, at that last Great Day, when the 
glorious Captain of our salvation, Jesus Christ, shall say to us, 
" Come up higher," and we shall cast our crowns at his feet, and talk 


over liis work in the hospital, in the f i t ■ 1 » 1 , in the camp, and by the 
way, and be forever with one another and the Lord ! 

But, brethren, the reapers follow the sowers. We are mustered 
on! to-night from sowing, that we may go to reaping. Why, it is 
reaping time already. The other day, in a little Log cabin in the 
upper valley of the Miami, I stood preaching the gospel to a group 
of children. A mother came up to me and said, " Preacher, I want 
yon to go home with me. My boy was buried near Atlanta. J want 
you to go home with me." " I will go," I said. She took me with her. 
Reaching her home, she opened a little drawer, and brought out a 
package which she unfolded carefully, and then handed me a letter. 
"Don't you see the little dove in the corner," she said, "and the 
words ' United States Christian Commission?'" What was it? It 
was the last letter from her boy, written by a Delegate of the Com- 
mission, — her dear boy, her all, who had given himself for his coun- 
try, and whom she had given cheerfully to the cause. < Hi how rich 
a country is ours, brethren, saved by the blood of such sons of such 
mothers, — consecrated by the mother-love of the thousands of bereft 
ones, who in the midst of their loneliness and tears rejoice over a 
land redeemed, regenerated, disenthralled. thank God, bre- 
thren, for our Government; and for anything we may have done to 
sustain it in the hour of its peril ; for our army and navy victorious; 
and oh, whenever we see that banner, that beautiful emblem of our 
national life and power, let us thank God that it is unsullied and 
free, and let us, girding ourselves with his might, be nerved anew to 
work for him, to do our whole duty, and to live for glory, honor, and 
immortality, and all will be well. 

At tliis point " America" was sung by the audience, with thrilling effect. 
Rev. Bishop Matthew Simpson was then introduced, and made the concluding 
address, as follows: — 


Mr. Speaker : Under the arrangements made bythe Committee, 

the closing address has been assigned to me, witli the suggestion that 
some "parting words" should be uttered to those active workers who, 
for four years past, have given so largely of their time, their ener- 
gies, and their means in behalf of the Christian Commission. 


We have already listened to the recital of the work which has 
been done, and have been astonished at the magnitude of the contri- 
butions. Scenes of suffering and of deatli have passed in review, 
and fit words of praise have been bestowed on those "ministering 
spirits" who, amidst the carnage of the battle and the terrible dis- 
eases and sufferings of the hospital, sought to relieve or to comfort the 
wounded and the dying. And when I review this work in all its 
aspects, I think that no encomiums can be too great. It has been food 
and clothing and shelter to the destitute ; medicine, physicians, and 
nurses to the sick and the wounded ; comfort and hope and heavenly 
joy to the dying. Its spirit has been the spirit of Christ. I prize it, 
however, not only for the benefits conferred upon the soldier and the 
sailor, but for the aid which it gave our Government in the hours of 
peril. I honor, with all possible honor, the skilful and gallant offi- 
cers who led our armies to victory. I could spend hours in recount- 
ing the bravery and the undying heroism of the private soldiers ; 
and yet to-night I express a doubt whether, without the agency of 
the Christian Commission, our recent war could have been brought 
to a triumphant close. The conflict was a fearful one. For a time 
doubt existed in many minds as to the final issue. The soldiers in 
the field knew not that they were eared for at home, and the great 
mass of the public knew but little of the fearful struggle of the war. 
But, sir, when this Commission was formed, and Delegates were 
called for to visit the camps, eloquent ministers left their pulpits, 
active laymen closed their offices and stores, or left the plough in the 
furrow, and hastened to the front. From every part of the land, 
from Maine to Minnesota, they carried to the brave boys words of 
kindness and tokens of sympathy from mothers, wives, sisters, and 
daughters. The soldiers felt that the eyes of loved ones were upon 
them, that the hearts of their friends were with them, and they were 
tired with new ardor, and furnished with new strength for the terrible 

Nor did these Delegates act simply as friends. By their prayers 
and teachings they sanctified the war in the hearts of the soldiers. 
Immorality is fearfully prevalent in camps ; the voice of profanity 
is too often heard, even from officers. Young men were liable to 
think that the conflict must be wicked. But when these friends, whom 
they knew for years to be men of prayer and faith, went from camp 


to camp, and from hospital to hospital, working without pay, reliev- 
ing suffering, and speaking of Jesus; their hearts were touched. 
These Delegates did to some extent the work of chaplains, but they 
did more. The chaplain was an officer of the army. He received 
his pay from the Government. Pure and noble he might be, full of 
ardor many a chaplain was, yet the suspicion would arise that he 
might be selfish in his labors. But these Delegates had sacrificed 
the comforts of home and family ; they left business and pulpits to 
visit the soldiers, and to cheer them in their toil. Their voices were 
familiar. Home and its associations rose before the young men. 
They listened eagerly, and not only were their hearts affected, but 
the war was made sacred by the prayers and sympathies of friends 
at home. 

No)' was this powerful influence felt merely by the soldiers. The 
returning Delegates carried tidings from the army to every part of 
the nation. The national heart was stirred and fired. Mothers re- 
ceived messages from dying boys and wept, and consecrated their all 
to the service of the country. No words of regret came from the 
battle-field, but the sacrifice of health, of limbs, and of life, was cheer- 
fully and nobly given. Often too had notes of Christian joy and 
triumph fallen from the lips of the dying soldier, and sometimes the 
erring one, wdio had left his father's house a prodigal, was led by these 
missions of mercy to the cross of Christ. Can we be surprised that 
under such influences the nation arose in its majesty? True heroism 
was stirred, and the war was made sacred in the eyes of the people. 
Prayer was offered in almost every pulpit and at almost every fire- 
side. Then came that wonderful outpouring of means of which you 
have heard, swelling in such a wonderful ratio that nearly one-third 
of the whole amount was given in the last four months of the rebellion. 

Such labors have given a feeling of sacrcdness in the hearts of the 
community to our Government and our flag. Not only were the 
officers of State and the officers of the army and navy made the sub- 
jects of earnest prayer, hut our Government became intimately iden- 
tified with every feeling of religion ami with every act of mercy. The 
Christian Commission received all needed aid from the' officers of the 
Government, while the work was voluntary ; they hail the approbation 
of the State, ami alike the suffering soldier and sympathizing and be- 
reaved friends felt that their country was their benefactor. How often, 


too, with the last message of the dying boy was connected that touch- 
ing request that he might be wrapped in the folds of that flag for which 
he had fought. How dear that flag henceforth must be in the cabin 
and the mansion, in the forest and in the city! It stands connected 
with the noblest actions and with the holiest emotions, and wherever 
it shall wave will he greeted by an enthusiasm unknown before. 

The influence of this Commission reaches beyond our land. It 
strengthens the cause of Christianity throughout the world. We have 
in it another development of the Christian life, a higher proof of its 
divine power over the heart of a nation. Christianity lias been for 
centuries winning triumphs. It has civilized and instructed the 
masses, founded schools and seminaries, diffused the knowledge of 
human rights, sanctified the press, and influenced the Governments 
of earth. It has entered the domestic circle, and elevated woman ; it 
ha- purified and ennobled the relationships of life ; and the highest 
and purest spirits have given it their homage. But never before had 
it stepped forth in all its glorious radiance upon the field of battle. 
Occasionally a Christian minister had accompanied or followed the 
warring hosts. Sometimes here and there were seen a Christian man, 
and in a few instances a Christian woman, ministering amidst the 
carnage to the wounded and the dying. But in this great and holy 
work the whole Christian church united. The churches gave their 
means, their men, and their ministers. As you have heard in the 
report, ministerial labor amounting to 181,000 days was freely given, 
nearly equal to the labor of one man for five hundred years. What 
a glorious act of churches founded on the voluntary principle and 
free from all connection with the State! 

Not only so. Christian denominations have been denounced as 
envious and jealous sects, who would not unite in any good work. 
But here men of all denominations intermingled freely. .Men of 
all creeds stood side by side, engaged in works of mercy, emulous 
only in performing humble services and deeds of love. And thus 
the churches, bound together in one great effort for the cause 
of Christ, have exemplified true Christianity. As citizens they 
rallied under one Hag, as Christians under one cross. Here has been 
presented a true Christian brotherhood. Men have labored for such 
a brotherhood in various ways. They have sought it in creed-, and 
have vainly tried to compel belief. They have sought it in ceremo- 


in.-, and have sought for uniformity. Ambitious men have sought 
to make their order universal, and to compel the unwilling by the 

secular power. The brotherhood of Jesus, or the Jesuit order, is a 
striking illustration of the yearning for union, and of seeking for it 
on an impure basis. It accomplished wonders by zeal and toil, and 

the followers ofLoyola will ever he both an example and a warning 
to the church. Evangelical alliances have been formed and Chris- 
tian unions, and men have crossed the ocean to meet kindred spirits, 
to exchange cordial greetings. Alas! how little has been realized ! 
But in this Commission a brotherhood was formed without plan and 
without effort. It was based on the eternal truth of < bid's holy word, 
and a spirit of sacrificing love that yearned over every human suf- 
ferer. It went forth to minister as Christ ministered. It did the 
Master's work, and he clothed it with his glory. His servants fol- 
lowed his footsteps, and they became one. This is the lesson the 
Commission has taught the world. 

Nor would I forget that in this great work Christianity has called 
woman to her aid, and has given her a most wonderful mission as an 
apostle of liberty and an angel of mercy. In the history of the 
world we behold in Eastern lands woman secluded and confined, a 
veil is upon her face, her voice is scarcely heard in council, and still 
less heeded, and on all sides darkness, ignorance, and degradation 
abound. In Europe woman is partially elevated. She moves more 
freely in society, and is engaged here and there in works of mercy 
and love; and where her footsteps go light and happiness accompany 
her. We have heard of one Florence Nightingale. All England 
boasted of her labors of humanity. The press heralded her name, 
and her fame reached to the ends of the world. She was an angel of 
mercy at the Crimea. But, sir, in our country, and under the auspices 
of this Commission, we have had not nnr Nightingale merely, but 
over hill and plain, around camp and hospital, the sweet strain- of 
thousands of voices have been heard from the early dawn of morning 
light until they have melted away upon the gathering shadows of 
night. Woman has shown herself able to stand side by side with 
man in this great work. Her fingers were busy with the needle and 
at the sewing-machine, preparing bandages and clothing. At the 
fireside and the kitchen she prepared comforts, and even luxuries, for 
the sick. She formed associations for aid and relief, She went from 


house to house, from shop to shop, from store to store, and pleaded 
for the suffering soldier. Churches were thrown open to her sancti- 
fied industry, and through her efforts in dark hours the treasury was 
replenished, and prayers ever accompanied the offerings. Not con- 
tent with this, women of families, of position, education, and refine- 
ment left their homes, and hied them to the hospital, and almost to 
the front of the contest. They dared to go as angels on the battle- 
field, as well as to the wards of the hospital. And lie it said to the 
credit of our country, and of our soldiers, as manly as they were 
brave, that so far as I have heard, no woman, however alone, received 
words of insult or reproach from the humblest soldier on the field. 
No, sir, they were hailed everywhere with gratitude and joy, — for the 
purity of active benevolence ever awes the human heart. I have 
seen them as with noiseless tread they slipped through the wards of 
the hospital, while I was trying to speak words of consolation to such 
as could hear, and, pausing by the couch of the dying soldier, have 
wiped the sweat from his. brow, and whispered the name of Jesus ere 
the spirit took its flight from earth. This has elevated woman in 
the eyes of the world. She has taught us that man will be more 
manly and brave, as well as purer and more refined, wherever < 'hiis- 
tian woman goes. What part she is to have in the future of humanity 
I know not, but I fancy that her aid in some active form will be 
essential in correcting those forms of vice which now especially de- 
grade humanity. When the day shall be ushered in that shall pro- 
claim our land free from immorality, and society regenerated, we shall 
see that in every step of the progress woman has stood side by side 
with man in accomplishing the noble work. 

But I must not delay. The closing moments are upon us. The 
record of the Commission is made. Its accounts are closed. Its 
workers are about to scatter, and we have only to say, Farewell. 
Let me congratulate you, brethren of the Commission, at closing 
your work in such a place, and in such a presence. It was fit that 
you should meet in the Capitol of the nation, in this Hall of Free- 
dom, where the nation meets through its chosen men ; in this cham- 
ber, where the light shines so sweetly and so softly through those 
emblems of peace and national glory, as typifying the light of 
heaven which shines on every moral enterprise. We rejoice also in 
the associations of the evening. We have in the chair our honored 


Speaker, who presides over the House of Representatives, and who 
has shown a deep interest in our work. And I may be allowed to 
say that while he presides over a body eminent for wisdom and 
eloquence, he never presided over more patriotic and loyal hearts 
than those of the workers in the Christian Commission. We are 
here also in the presence of the army and navy, in the persons of so 
many honored officers of high rank, who well know wdiat the asso- 
ciation has accomplished; in the presence of distinguished members 
of the Cabinet, and of the learned and talented Chief Justice of the 
Supreme Court. Around us we recognize many Senators and Repre- 
sentatives, who gave us their sympathies and their prayers. In such 
a presence, and with such benedictions, it is meet that our Commis- 
sion should pass gently away. Are there not some who have been 
more glorious in death than even in life? I think that Moses, 
though he had led his people triumphantly through the sea, and had 
been on Sinai in the Divine presence, was never so honored as when, 
having stood on Pisgah's summit, and glanced at the distant bills 
and plains, it is simply said that God "buried him." The Christian 
Commission has led a noble life. It was baptized in prayer, worked 
amidst suffering and affliction, leaned on the affections of the wise 
and the pure, received aid from all classes, and ministered to multi- 
plied thousands. Its dying moment has come, and it breathes its 
last breath sweetly and gently as the fabled notes of the dying swan. 
The nation draws near, utters its benediction, and "buries" it with 

But, beloved workers, as we part we go to other fields. The spirit 
of the Commission will still live. "We shall not be an organized body, 
but we shall be active laborers. There are other fields. Vice, in 
many forms, is to be encountered and vanquished. Cities are to be 
evangelized. Freedmen are to be educated. The ignorant every- 
where are to be instructed. A great work is before us. The nation 
is to be reconstructed. The theoretical and political work, and the 
exercise of power, we leave to statesmen, officers, and wise men 
assembled here. Bui when the law and tin' sword have accomplished 
their utmost work, they cannot change unwilling minds. The moral 
work remains to be done. We must carry the gospel to men of all 
ranks, classes, sections, and prejudices, for one thing alone can make 
ua truly one, — the love of God through Christ Jesus our Lord. 


Ere ive part it is proper to return our grateful acknowledgments 
to the officers who have conducted the affairs of the Commission. I 
have seen their labors, having been but slightly identified with them. 
Diligence, system, economy, earnestness, and deep devotedness have 
marked their varied movements. From the headquarters at Phila- 
delphia, from the offices at Boston, Xew York, Pittsburg, Cincinnati, 
Chicago, St. Louis, and elsewhere, immense stores have been issued, 
and vast labor has been performed, without confusion and without 

ostentation As I look upon the -whole band of laborers, I am 

reminded that the expression is not too strong, for it is written of 
all active laborers, " They that be wise shall shine as the brightness 
of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the 
stars forever and ever." Workers of the Commission, continue to 
shine as stars. Your light cannot be hid. If the mite which the 
widow cast into the treasury remains before the eye of the gnat 
Master, surely the cups of cold water, the messages of mercy, the 
words of holy comfort, ministered by the Delegates, shall never be 

But the workers are not all here. Scattered over the land, they 
are with us in spirit. They are not all visible. Some fell on the 
battlefield, whispering with their dying breath the name of Jesus. 
Some fell by diseases contracted while ministering in the hospital. 
May they not be here also? May it not lie that brave soldier boys, 
comforted in their anguish and death by your ministrations, join you 
in spirit also? These galleries are densely crowded. Are there not 
higher galleries? Above this light, beaming so softly upon us, may 
there not be purer ami brighter lights? May not the unseen be 
very near us ? In my youth I was taught to repeat : 

" Angela now are hovering round us, 
Unperoeived they mix the throng-, 
Wondering at the love that crowned us, 

Glad to join the holy song." 

And if angels come, may not redeemed and glorified spirits come 
also? While the benedictions of officers and statesmen fall upon 
your ears, may there not be gentle tones whispering love and joy 
within? May it not even be that he, our martyred one, whose seat 
is vacant here, but who cheered us twelve months since, looks lov- 


ingrj upon the scene? Be that as it may, there is a far greatei 
among us, who hath said, " Lo, I am with you always, even to the 
end of the world." 

Brave workers, go to your fields. They are ripening to the har- 
vest. Work for Jesus, and what your hands "rind to do, do it with 
your might." 

A new and sweet song, entitled the "Homo of the Soul," written by Mrs. 
Ellen Huntington I fates, author of " Your Mission," was sunt; by Philip Phil- 
lips. Prayer was offered by the Rev. Prof. Lemuel Moss, late Home Secretary 
of the Commission, now of the University at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. The 
Hutchinson family, being present, were invited by the Chairman to favor the 
audience with one or two of their songs. They sang two, embodying the senti- 
ment "I live for the good I can do," and forecasting the "good time" to lie 
ushered in by the recognition of universal freedom and the brotherhood of 
man. A last expression of thanks was then feelingly uttered by Mr. Stuart, in 
the name of the Christian Commission, to the members of both houses of Con- 
gress, for their many favors, especially in the allowance of the Hall for the use 
of their four anniversaries, and for the presence, words, and influence so freely 
and cordially given by the distinguished men of the nation. The doxology, 

Praise God from whom nil blessings flow, 

wa- thru sung, and the great congregation dismissed with the benediction by 
the Ri v. Heman Dyer, i>. i>., of New York. 

Tints has a mighty work been begun, continued, and ended, in the favor of 
the rulers and the people, and with the manifest approval of Heaven. 

It is evident from the foregoing that a volume, of ex- 
traordinary interest and permanent value, might readily 
be compiled from the addresses delivered at the public 
meetings of the Christian Commission. The foremost 
men of the nation, as speakers in the pulpit and upon 
the platform, from every profession, were wont to dis- 
cuss at these gatherings the living questions of the hour, 
with comprehensiveness, pertinence, sobriety, earnest- 
ness, eloquence, and effectiveness, such as were not sur- 
passed. No one exerted a wider influence in behalf of 
the Commission, by his personal presence and voice. 


than its Chairman, Mr. Stuart. Of his numerous public 
speeches, the following is given as possessing no little 
historical interest. Mr. Stuart was in Europe during 
the spring and summer of 1866. By invitation of the 
American Bible Society, he represented them at the 
Anniversary of the British and Foreign Bible Society. 
The meeting was in Exeter Hall, May 2, 1866, the Earl 
of Shaftesbury, President of the Society, in the chair. 
Mr. Stuart 1 said:— 

My Lord : It affords me groat pleasure to have the honor of second- 
ing the Resolution which lias just been moved, and so eloquently 
supported by my Christian brother who last addressed you. I appear 
before you to-day as a most unworthy representative, if not of the 
oldest member of your family, certainly of one of the largest of your 
children. I regret that such a child of yours, which has grown to 
such proportions in my adopted country, is not better represented 
upon this occasion. I owe the position which I occupy to-day doubt- 
less to the relation which, under God, I was called upon to sustain to 
the army which went forth to subdue the slaveholders' rebellion. 

The American Bible Society was bom in the year 1816, and next 
week it will attain its fiftieth year. During the current, its Jubilee 
year, it has had a special work assigned to it, but to that special work 
I will not further refer. I have the honor of being supported on 
this occasion by a brother' from my own city, who is a distinguished 
member of the Protestant Episcopal Church. I am a Presbyterian 
and he is an Episcopalian, but we have stood side by side in many 
of the battles of the late war, and ministered alike to the soldiers of 
the Confederate army and the soldiers of the Union army. The 
American Bible Society, during the past year, issued from its deposi- 

i This address is copied from the Monthly Reporter of the British and Foreign 
Bible Society for June 1, 1866. It was translated into the principal languages 
of Europe, and also by Protestant missionaries into some of the Asiatic tongues. 

- The Rev. Robert J. Parvin, of Philadelphia, who was closely identified 
with the work of the Christian Commission, and rendered it very important 
service in many departments. 


lories It") 1,945 volumes, and during the fifty years of its existence it 
has issued 21,660,079 volumes of the Word of God. It received last 
year $642,645, which was 835,000 less than the sum received ill the 
preceding year, hut the falling oil' was mainly owing to a diminution 
in legacies, while the general receipts were as large as ever. The 
amount of money received last year was 8200,000 more than its 
largest receipts during any year previous to the rebellion. The capa- 
city of the Bible Society was taxed to the utmost flu ring the war. 
Although callable of throwing off, through its steam-power presses, 
twelve copies of the Word of God every working minute, there were 
times when the demand from the army was such that those presses 
were unable to meet it, and it never fell during all that time below 
the issue of nine copies per minute. When the war commenced we 
had an army of 16,000 men, scattered from Maine to California, but 
in the course of the war there were called into the field 2,000,000 of 
men, young men from schools and seminaries, young men unused to 
the hardships of the battle-field; and the Christian people of the land 
felt that we ought not only to follow these young men with our pra\ ers, 
but that we ought above all to furnish them with the bread of life, 
through the gospel of Jesus Christ. During the four years of the 
struggle there were distributed, among the army and navy alone, over 
2,000,000 copies of God's Word, in whole or in part. The principal 
agency for that distribution was the United States Christian Com- 
mission, which distributed 1,406,748 copies, all of which were received 
gratuitously from the American Bible Society, with the exception of 
15,000 copies forwarded to us from your own depository; and I am 
here to-day to return to you our grateful thanks for that contribution. 
It was one of a most welcome description, and there was hardly an 
officer commanding a corps, division, or a brigade in the whole army, 
who was not supplied with one of your neatly bound volumes. We 
not only received from this Society 15,000 copies of ( rod's Word, but 
we also received an assurance that if we drew at sight our drafts 
would lie honored. We felt grateful fin- that noble offer; hut, thanks 
be to God, our own Society had means placed in its treasury which 
enabled it to meet every want. Let me now allude to one of the 
many incidents in the American war. I don't know what "the Old 
Lady in Threadneedle Street," as the Bank of England is called, 
would say if she were asked to give live pounds for a copy of a note 


which I hold in my hand ; but she would probably say, "We don't 
do business in that way." This is the bank-note sent by a poor 
woman in England, during the war, to buy Bibles for the soldiers of 
the North. Fifty or a hundred guineas would not buy it (here hold- 
ing up the original bank bill), for it has incited to many other gifts, 
and brought "much money" to our treasury; and if you have any 
difficulty, my lord, with regard to your Building Fund, it might per- 
haps be well if you were to borrow it. The letter enclosing it is as 
follows. It was addressed to President Lincoln, and by him sent 
to me. 

Bear President: I hope you will pardon me for troubling you. Ohio is my 
native State, and I so much wish to send a trifle in the shape of a £o Bank-of- 
England note, to buy Bibles for the poor wounded soldiers of the North, which 
I hope they may read. Yours, very respectfully, 

Maky Talbot Sorby. 
Fir Cliff; Derbydale, Derbyshire, England. 

Let me now say a word or two about our United States Christian 
Commission, which exerted itself so much among our soldiers during 
the war. That Commission was simply the Church of Christ, in all 
her branches, in an organized form, going forth in time of war, as our 
blessed Master went through the streets of Jerusalem and along the 
shores of Galilee. Some might ask, Where did these men get their 
commission to go forth to the army, carrying bread for the body in 
one hand and the Bread of Life in the other? I believe they got it 
from the example of our Saviour Himself. We sent forth the Bible 
and other books, by the hands of men of burning zeal, not mere per- 
functory agents. There were ministers who came to us, and offered 
themselves for the work ; but we said, " No ; you have not succeeded 
at home, and you are not likely to succeed in the army." We wanted 
only men who were willing to put off the black coat and the white 
cravat, and would put on the army attire, and, if need be, would 
undertake to make with their own hands gruel for the soldiers. I 
will tell you what happened on one occasion. A Rev. Doctor of 
Divinity was engaged in making gruel for the soldiers, and was put- 
ting into the gruel something that would make it more palatable. 
Some of the soldiers were busily watching his movements, and one of 
them exclaimed, "Go it, Doctor; put some more of that stuff in, and 


it will be the real Calvinistic gruel." In another case, a man saw a 
Rev. Doctor engaged in washing bloody shirts in a brook, and lie 
called out to him, " Doctor, what arc you doing?" The Doctor re- 
plied, "The shirts supplied to the army are exhausted, and also those 
of our own Commission. The wounded arc suffering from their stif- 
fened and clotted shirts, and I thought I might undertake to wash a 
few of them in the brook. Do you think I am wrong?" "Wrong!" 
said the other, "Oh, no. I never saw you walking so closely in the 
footsteps of your Divine Master before." These men have not only 
administered to the bodily wants of the soldiers, but to their moral, 
and chiefly to their spiritual necessities. They circulated upwards 
of eight millions of copies of knapsack books, including such works 
as Newman Hall's "Come to Jesus," and Mr. Eeid's "Blood of 
Jesus." The history of these books will never be written. They 
came hack to the families of the soldiers in America, many of them 
stained with their former owners' blood. They have become heir- 
looms of those families) and they will never be parted with. Besides 
these, there were eighteen million copies of our best religious news- 
papers issued to the army, fresh as they appeared from the press. 
The total receipts of the Commission were six and a quarter millions 
of dollars. The books, etc., were distributed by about five thousand 
unpaid agents. How did we get these agents? They got nothing 
for their labors. We would not employ any agents wdio wanted pay 
for their work, except a few permanent men to superintend the work. 
We have gone to wardens of a church and said, " We want your 
pastor to labor for us for a few months." We have, on one occasion 
at least, arrested the ministrations of the pulpit for the urgent de- 
mands of the field of conflict. And these men did get pay, pay far 
richer than was ever coined in any mint ; it was the "God bless 

you " of the dying soldier. 

It may be asked, " In this work of distributing the Bible, was 
there not wilful waste?" I am bold to say there was not. I have 
myself distributed many thousand copies of tin- Bible, and I never 
met with a refusal but once, and that was from a German infidel. 
Now I belong to that portion of young America which was born in 
Ireland, excuse me for that, — and 1 do not know what it is to give 
in. So 1 thought I would endeavor to take the German infidel by a 
flank movement. I called his attention to the beauty of the book. It 


was very handsomely got up. I told him it was what was called < 'rom- 
well'a Bible, and I told him how Cromwell's soldiers had read this 
book, and how it enabled them to fight so vigorously ; but still I 
gained nothing by my flank movement. I was about to leave him, 
when I thought I would make another attempt. I asked him where 
he was from. "From Philadelphia." "Philadelphia! why that is 
my own city." He brightened up at this, and asked the street where 
I lived. I told him in such and such a street, and I said, " I am 
going bark there, and I expect to tell the result of my labors, in the 
largest Protestant Episcopal church in that city, on Sabbath evening 
next." Don't be alarmed, Episcopalians and Presbyterians, at the 
fact of a layman like myself being allowed to speak there. " Well," 
he said, "and what will you say?" "I shall tell them that I have 
been engaged for so long a time in distributing Bibles among our 
soldiers: that I never met with but one refusal, and that he was a 
soldier from our own city." "Well, and what more will yen say?" 
" Why, I shall tell them that I began to distribute Bibles this morn- 
ing at the White House," — a place somewhat like your Buckingham 
Palace, only not so fine. "And who was the first man to whom I 
offered a copy? Why, it was to President Abraham Lincoln. When 
I went to see the President he was writing, and when I handed him 
a copy of Cromwell's Bible he stood up, — and you know he was a 
very tall man and took a long time to straighten. He received the 
Bible, and made me a low bow, and thanked me; and now I shall 
have to go back and tell him that one of his soldiers, who was fight- 
ing his battles, refused to take the book which he had accepted so 
gladly." The German softened at once. He said, " Did the Presi- 
dent take the book? — well, then, I guess I may take one too." 

I must say, that in the distribution of copies of the Bible the 
refusals to receive them were not more than one in a thousand, and 
these were Roman Catholics, while I am glad to say that many of 
these gladly and thankfully received the Word of God. But was 
there any waste of the books so received? No, a soldier would part 
with any thing rather than his New Testament ; "and," said a little 
fellow, a soldier from Pittsburg, to his comrade, when the Union 
army was repulsed from the heights of Fredericksburg, when the 
rebels were pouring in shot and shell upon our retreating columns, 
" Joe," said he, " if it were not that the Testament given me by my 


mother is in my knapsack, I would throw it away, but I can't do it." 
Wilful waste was, I believe, entirely unknown. I have been in cor- 
respondence with thousands of agents who have been engaged in this 
work of distribution ; and I have only heard of one case where a 
soldier wilfully threw away bis Bible. 1 have the copy with me 
here to-day ; and as my beloved brother, Baptist Noel, said thai the 
Word of God would never return to Him void, so I am here to say, 
that though this soldier, with a wickrd and diabolical heart, threw 
away his Testament in the streets of Memphis, that Testament was 
picked up by another soldier, himself also careless and wicked, hut 
who was led, from the reading of it, to the foot of the cross, where he 
found peace and joy. It was sent to the American Bible Society 
(the copy referred to was here exhibited), who treasure it, as a relic, 
or rather as a memento of the war. 

The Bible was not only instrumental in saving souls; there are 
hundreds of cases where it was also instrumental in saving the lives 
of the soldiers. Here is a copy (holding it up) which was published 
in England by Messrs. Eyre & Spottiswoode. That Testament has 
a history which, if it could speak, I might well remain silent. It 
ran the blockade ; it found its way to a soldier of the Southern army, 
who placed it in his hosom, and here is the hole which was made by 
a bullet, which, entering at the last chapter of the Revelation, pene- 
trated through to the first chapter of Matthew, and, grazing the 
outer cover, saved the man's life. There are hundreds of such 
ci. pics preserved in numerous families throughout America, and 
money could not purchase them. 

The desire to receive copies of the Word of God is not to be described. 
I stood on the top of an omnibus, in the midst of three thousand sol- 
diers, on a hill in Virginia, and they all clamored round me for 
books to read. A Delegate of the Commission visited the first Ten- 
nessee cavalry, and he wrote me a letter, the substance of which was : 
" Dear Brother Stuart, — I never bought a pack of cards but once, 
and I want to tell you the circumstances under which I bought them. 
I ciinic to a spot where I found four young men, — mere boys they were, 
and might be the sons of pious mothers, — and they were playing at 
cards. 1 said, ' Boys, I should like to make an exchange with you. 

I will give you copies of this beautiful edition of the New Testament 
in exchange for this pack of cards.' They exclaimed, ' That is just 


what we want. We are playing with these cards because time hangs 
so heavy on our hands in this dull camp-life. We have nothing to 
read. We are glad <d' anything tn pass away the time.' I handed 
to each of them a copy of the New Testament. ' Now, won't you be 
kind enough to write your name in it,' they said, 'that we may 
know to whom we are indebted for these books'?' I wrote my name 
accordingly, and then I said, ' Now, won't you be kind enough to 
write your names on these cards, that I may know from whom I 
have received them?' But there was not one of them who would 
acknowledge the cards." 

But I must pass on. Let me only say that all that has been writ- 
ten or said as to the effect of the Word of God in the army is true, 
and far more. Let me give you one or two instances of the power of 
the Word of God among the dying on the battle-field. At the bloody 
field of Williamsburg a soldier in the Union army was mortally 
wounded. His sufferings were indescribable; he could not restrain 
his nmans and groans. A comrade found his way over to cheer him, 
and to encourage him to hold up. "Oh, William," he said, " I had 
hoped to die surrounded by my family and the friends of my youth ; 
but here I must pass away. If you should survive the war, I wish to 
send a message home to my family. I have a dear wife at home, 
two sweet children, and an aged mother, who loved me, and whom I 
dearly loved." He then took from his breast a packet, in which was 
his wife's portrait. "Open that," he said; and, handing his com- 
panion a letter, said, "Bead this, her last letter to me, and then I 
shall think I see and hear her again. My dear mother, when I parted 
from her, followed me to the door. She could not speak, but I knew 
what she meant, and, as her parting gift, she put this Bible into my 
hands. Take it back to her. Tell her that the reading of it led me 
to pray, to give my heart to Jesus. It has kept me from the evils 
of the army and the vices of camp-life. It has brought me, though 
on this cold, damp earth, to die a happy, a peaceful, and, J trust, a 
triumphant death." He looked up to heaven with a sweet smile, 
and said, "Good-by, my dear wife and children : farewell, my beloved 
mother ; we shall meet again in heaven." And then, with a long 
farewell to weary marches, the dying soldier passed away, attended 
by angels to glory, as truly as if he had been at home. So at the 
bloody conflict of Stone River, during a lull of the fight, the cries of 


:t wounded soldier were heard, asking for assistance, bul i oon his cri< s 

wcic drowned in tin 1 renewed mar of the artillery. When the con- 
flict was over, then came the ghastly work of sorting the dead from 
the living. When the men who were despatched for this service 
reached thespot from whence these cries proceeded, they found a lad 
of nineteen, dead, and leaning- against the stump of a tree. His eyes 
were open, though fixed in death; a celestial smile was on his coun- 
tenance; his well-worn Bible was open, with his finger, cold and stiff 
in death, pointing to that passage which has cheered the heart of 
many a dying Christian : "Though I walk through the valley of the 
shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy red 
and Thy staff they comfort me." Oh, mother, wife, sister, it' that had 
been your sun, husband, or brother, who had died under such circum- 
stances, what would you not give for the possession of this blessed 
copy of the Word of God ? 

And what has been the effect of the distribution of Bibles in the 
army? I want it to be proclaimed over the whole of this country, 
that in five months General Grant, the noble hero of our war, and 
the accepted instrument in crushing out rebellion and ((storing our 
glorious Union, sent over eight hundred thousand soldiers back to 
their homes and plaees of business; and it may be asked what has 
been the conduct of these since their return. I have seen the returns 
that were made in answer to official inquiries throughout one State, — 
Massachusetts, — and, with a few exceptions, the soldiers have returned 
home better men than when they left; they have gone back to their 
work : they have saved money; they are, in most cases, the better for 
their service in the army. I am here to bear to this land glad tidings 
from the land of my adoption, that our churches, in many places, 
where Jesus is faithfully preached, are being revived, and they are 
receiving showers of blessings, so that there is scarcely room to receive 
them. One of our churches lately received one hundred and twenty- 
eight new members, upwards of one hundred of them from the world. 
Another church received an accession of one hundred and fifty-five 
members, nearly all of them from the world. A general in the 
Union army wrote to me, a few days before I left America, to the 
following effect: " I have lately bad little or nothing to do with the 
army; but, notwithstanding, my hands are full, for I am going about 
assisting ministers of the gospel to preach the Word." Our prayer 



is, that those showers of blessings which are now falling upon us 
may reach, not only to the British islands, but be extended over all 
the earth. 

Oh, my friends, I wish I had time to tell you how much I love 
this Society; but it is time I should bring my address to a close. 
England and America speak the same language; they worship the 
same God, — Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; they are the two great 
Protestant nations of the earth, and woe to the hand that ever causes 
blood to flow between them. England and America, — there may 
have occasionally risen up difference of opinion between them, but I 
say here what I wrote a short time since to a member of the Wash- 
ington Cabinet. I said to him, "Sir, I believe, all through this 
terrible conflict, there are no two agencies which God has so much 
blessed, in the preserving of peace between the two countries, as the 
British and Foreign Bible Society and the American Bible Society." 
I say, God bless the British and Foreign Bible Society; God bless its 
honored President ; may he be long spared to carry on his work of 
usefulness! God bless the American Bible Society; God bless its 
honored President! God bless the Queen of England ; long may she 
reign over a prosperous and a free country! God bless the President 
of the United States! And now, my friends, my work is done. 
Pardon the imperfections of my speech. If I have stammered in 
what I have said, I can only say that I spoke out of the fulness of 
my heart. I long for the coming of that day when all wars shall 
cease, and when Jesus Christ shall rule over all lands. 

We are living, we are dwelling, 

In a grand and awful time, 
In an age on ages telling; 

To be living is sublime. 
Hark ! the waking up of nations, 

Gog and Magog to the fray ; 
Hark! what soundeth ? — is creation 

Groaning for its latter day ?' 

1 At the close of the address, the Earl of Shaftesbury arose and took Mr. Stuart 
by the hand, and, amid the general applause of the assembly, said, "With my 
whole heart I reiterate your prayer, — God bless the President of America; 
God bless the Queen of England ; and may peace ever reign between the two 
countries ! " 



Joseph Patterson, Treasurer, in account with I'. S. Christian 




Jau. 1, 
Dec. 30, 

To balance from 1364 

To cash i ei eived aa follows : 

[ row i'i ■"!■ h ' "'" ea 

\t \\ iisliingtou Agency 1 

\i Nashville and Louisville 

Agencies ' 

At various Army Agem li ■ ' 
From Si kliei - and bailors .... 
(from Pacific Christian Com. 
i- 'i .'in Ladies' Chris. Com. of 

Pai ;n.' 

Fr Fairs in California 

Fi "tn General Collections in 


From Oregon < Ihristian Com. 
From Ladies 1 Chris. Com. in 


From \ id Societies in ' h ■ ;i n. 
From indh [duals, Philada. 
Fi "in i liui'i bee Philadelphia. 
From Ladles' Christian « om,, 


Fi C<>] porationB, Philada. 

I'll. in General Collet tions, 

eti .. Philadelphia 

From [udivldnals, Pennn 

Fr ihun hes, Penna 

From Litdies' C. Com., Penna.. 
From Genei al ' lollei tions, 

tc, Pennsylvania 

i : om \ id So< ieties, Penna... 
From Fairs, etc, etc., Penna. 
From individuals in other 


From Geuoral Collections in 

Hi- i SI ites 

From \i-l Societies in ol > ■ < ■ 


From LadieB 1 C. C. in other 

-i ites 

!■ uiirches in other 


I i Meetings, etc., in other 


From Ladies' Hawaiian C.C. 

Sandm ■■ ii islands 

From other foreign counti E< b. 
! i .in pj oceeds of sales of 


Returned from Agencies 

Total $171 

S5,42Q 12 

229,012 62 
3,197 48 

3,819 22 

i 658 59 

1,322 in 

21,868 85 

I., Ml,; | 

2,815 36 

327 08 
15,346 18 

1,386 00 

509 20 

44,639 57 

8,465 96 

4,662 93 
3,013 ::^ 


i.m.: 91 
4,790 29 
1,756 13 

5,515 61 

1,688 73 

12,968 90 

9,199 •> 

6,972 7 7 

5,1 7 

.■..KIT 74 

7,738 37 

■ fi 

2,079 27 

22,087 96 
1,943 32 

Dei .30, 

By cash paid as follows : 

For hospital supplies 

For publications 

Stationery for soldiers and 


Tents, chapels, and chapel 


Die! kitchen furniture 

u i| ■ at bora b, and othei 

BtOi h 

Drafts, Washington Igencj 
Drafts, Nashville and Loui 

villa Agencies 

Droll - < in poinl kgency .., 
Drafts, Richmond Agi in ) 
hi afts, Knri Monroe Agency 
Drafts, N. Carolina Agem j , 
Drafts,Horper's Ferry Agency 

Delegates' expenses 

Salai ies oi Pel I \ i mj 


Salaries of Lady Manaj ■ i 

Diet-Kiti li- n- 

Salai ies oi Home Agents 

Meeting expenses.and travel' 

Ing expenses of Agenl .... 

Office expenses, postage, ad- 

ertising, incidentu li 
Counterfeit and um ui i - nt 


Express, di nyage, labor, etc. 

Drafts, St. Louis Agency 

Drafts, Baltimore Agency 

By cash transferred to Geo. 
II. Stuart, .'"-. Patti r ion, 
Stephen Col well, John P. 
Crozer, and Matthew Simp- 
son, Trustees appointed by 
Executive Committee, to 
|m\ .ui debts due, or that 
may become due, and ill 
expenses thai may arise in 
closing affairs of the Com- 
mission, and to npply I tie 
remainder of Buch funds to 
the -]'ii and temporal 
benefit of those \i ho ai e, 
have been, or may bo Sol- 
diers and Sailors in the Ber- 
\ Ice "i the United States, 

in BUCh way,-- (IS tiny shall 

deem beBt 

148,81" 28 
172,690 49 

10,760 S6 

5,011 33 
110 Tii 

6,296 20 

l 6 

37 "7" 67 
41 366 73 

seo '.ii 

1,877 59 

769 mi 

7,497 09 

14,964 77 

6,073 32 

961 00 
14,609 < 7 

5,756 02 

220 34 
5,044 23 
12,000 "ii 
3,000 mi 

10.770 93 


i A large proportion of these amounts were from soldiers and sailors. 

Having examined the foregoing account of Joseph P\tterso\, Esq.. Treasurer of the r. S. Chris- 
tum Commission, and the vouchers submitted therewith, and the corresponding Banh \.. its, 

and having had the Beveral additions mink- by a eaivfnl and c"iiii>rtciit ari'iimtatit, wo lin.l the 
whole i" !"■ correct, leaviug n balance in the Treasury on the 31st day ol January, 1866, oi ten 
thousand soven hundred aud seventy dollars and nlnetj three cents ($10,770.93), which was paid 
this day, Januarj 31, 1866 t to the following named Trustoes ! Goo. H. Stuart, Jos. Patterson, John 
P. Crozer, Stephen Col well, and Matthew Simpson, n. i>. ; leaving no balance in the hands of the Trea- 
surer, which finally closes his account. Horatio Gates Jones. 

Si i mi \ Colwjell. 
Philadelphia, January 31, 1866. John p. Crozer. 





















\<w nk 

New Haven... 

New York 



PO] lIllNll 

I'i n\ ideuce 


St. Louis 

St. Paul 



Base Offices. 

Nashville and Louisville- 

Arm;/ Agencies. 

City Point 


Fortress Monroe 


Harper's Ferry 

Totals $116,315 71 

Bal ■' 

hum] |n r I i -I 
Annual Report, 
I 81, 1864. 

$5,420 12 
MW 72 

10,550 27 

10,324 49 

2.IH7 I'll'. 

3,012 u 

1,177 4:1 

l,2"i! 5s 

1,693 89 

30 50 

2,628 67 

7.2s.". 69 

:io.oti5 no 
7,286 86 
2,872 39 

• nil 

5,088 60 

'.I2n 71 

222 74 

526 00 

Cash received 

directly into 
the various 

5241,136 11 
7,127 51 
l'.i.T44 99 

.-,.111,1 llll 

4,651 44 
S 1,047 65 

9,884 4:; 
13,540 01 
73,072 28 
38 396 1 1 

6,937 59 

10,1'iSl 1" 

1,895 so 

10,000 29 

9,332 01 

8,868 07 

5.432 73 
4,033 15 

116,337 "." 

12,720 33 

42,896 81 

7,968 27 

10,328 09 

2.433 00 
33.553 17 
34,698 66 

2.2112 53 

2,980 81 

7, 507 71 

Cash remitted 
by Ceufl Office 

to Branches 
and Agencies. 

$3,000 00 

37.970 57 « 
52.S51 56 o 

41,366 73" 

300 00 a 
1,877 59 « 

76! ■ 

7,407 09" 

$157,692 54 

Cash remitted 

from one 
Branch Office 

to others. 

3229,012 8! 

::77 59 

370 is 
591 S3 


$274,151 31 

Total Cash He 

, 11 1 in in. 
log Balance 
fr 1864. 


29 1 .5 




-1 .."7:: 
S 1 H 

1 2,27 4 










33 153 





30.203 64 
52,S51 56 

11 366 73 

360 00 

1,877 69 

76 1 

7,497 mi 

61,376,617 26 

a Including donations and proceeds of sales of stock, credited as cash from Central Office. 




1'llll.W'Kirnl \ 


Itiilli '• 

Bath, Me 



Hull. I 


I iin Miliati 



rial tford 



Milwaukee V .1 

New Bun en 

New York 

i' ol i.i 




Springfield, M isa 

St. I - 

St. Paul 


i in. i 




\ I., i ol 

n.. .n. 
Package* of 

>!,.,, Hi- 

ll ll. III. .1 














N tii'i "I 

ll.. ,1,1 







51 i 





N 1 1 

Package "i 


1.1 in 





1 048 








Number " f 

Boxes 1 

1 >..ii ii .1 
ruiiii. hi 11 



\ VI 

1 . Value i.r 

DOI ' I 1. .nil. '1 

Mm. Publlcat'ns. 

(119.746 Jl 
11,200 mi 

108,025 ill 

I, in 98 

13,4511 mi 
289,602 7 1 

."1.." n 



1,487 5" 

,-ini., 1 

5.500 "" 

42::., 'n In 

4,000 im 

l.i.i n CO 

1 77 ; ml 

12.125 (in 
425 im 

I, - 

.1 B2 

1 S 10 

$8,400 15 



4 (I 

45,950 no 


1,760 ml 
3,024 nil 
1,200 im 

600 00 

5,512 11 

4.225 nil 

150 no 

1.27.1 ml 
3,450 n" 

250 00 


624 -1 mi 957 7:: ^:;,ii2i; 26 




inn,. 11' . 1. 

Ami. Hi I.I,- 

Socletj . 


Hi inn 

Book*, in 

..1 Popi 


Bound l.i 

linn v 



M • 

.III. Mil 

\ 1 














7.1. 1 



1 ,2511 
II, Inn 





2. nun 





mi: 236 



, .1 




1 11 

::. Um 



1::; [so 








IV. 117 




I'll , ., 

1 ji ■ 

in L.- 




1., VI . 








., 1 ■ 


126 I'H 

2' 1 


2.1 Ml 
4' 121'" 


179 1 ,1 




- ■ 11 

1 Army of the Mississippi. Distribution was throngli the Memphis pible Society. 







1 ! is 



Numliei- in 

Rlold, Janu- 
ary 1,1866. 



111 T Of 

days' en Ice 
of Delegates. 


Diet Kitchen 
Lady Man- 
age! - i in 



Agents em- 


Paid I . hi ■ 
employed in 
Home 'Work. 

















6, ."I 

















































1862, 1863, 1864, AND 1865. 








Totuls Tup 

1862, 1868, l-iil, 

and 1865; 






7. V.I 













41 .lis 

















L81 562 



Aggregate Number <>i (lays of 

Delegates' son ice 

Boxi >ni Stores mill Publications 

Bibles I'estaments, nud portions 
hi Sci Iptun - distributed .... 

[vimpsni 1. Hooks, in paper <>i 
flexible covers 


Religious Weekly aud Monthlj 


Pages "t Tracts 


i 126.002 



Soruions preached by Deli al e 
Prayer-Meetings beld bj Delo- 


l.ettcrs written by Delegates.... 


Note. — Therowere also distributed, by the various Branches and Army Agencies, during the 
war. 7,067,000 shoots ol paper, aud 7,060,000 envelopes. 



1m;i\ LS63, 1 si; i. ANh L865. 

(•All rU'l'I.AKS. 

Cash Receipts al I lontral and 
Brand. Offices 

Value "i Sfoi es d ti d t'> < .en 

tral and Itmv b Offr i s 

Value of Publications donated 
to Central mid Branch Offices. 

\ aluo "i Si i Iptures donated bj 
Amoi !■ an Bible Si j 

\ nine ol Si i Iptures donated i>\ 

British and i Ign Bible 

S iv 

Value "i" 11 \ inn Books donat< d 
by Army Committee, Young 
Men - i Im Istitui Usociation, 
' i 

Value "i Delegates 1 sen ices 

\ alue of Itaih uad, Steamboat, 
and ol i" i Ti unsportation fa- 
i llities 

Val t Toll nipli lacilities, 

from Maine to Califui nia 

\ alue "i Rents ol W ai eho.u >■- 
and ' >ffices 

To1 ila 



$828,857 70 

1.141.1)07 73 

88,026 26 

r.j;:sj 66 

1,962 84 
80,718 69 

■ Mi 

12,828 on 

8,800 00 

■ B8 

11,297,758 28 

i i - 3J 

81,296 32 
72,114 S3 

1,788 06 
169,920 00 


26 i 

I , 

1868,239 29 
888,829 07 

l ,"7i 50 
1,677 79 




140,160 29 
142,150 00 

10 86 00 

.'i 6 


8,660 00 

$231,266 29 

1862, 1868, 1864, 

hi I I < 

12,624,512 56 

2,839,44 ' 17 

1 1 1 322 58 

179,824 09 



344,413 69 

218,00 . 00 


86,291,107 68 

• This is tit. u ,,i u nt r, .in i, ii in ilis only, ns the active campaign closed in .April, with the fall of 
Richmond and the surrender ol Lfle. 

Note. —There are Iwo items in these tables thai may be considered repre- 
sentative iit- hi-, one of the home work and the other of the fit Id work of the Com- 
mission, Delegates and Donations. A comparisi f these for the several 

years will besl mark the growth of the Commission, rapid and continuous to 
the end. 1 luring the first yeai of the t lommission, 356 Delegates were commis- 
sioned; the year following, 1,207; the third year, 2,217 ; in the four months 
of the fourth year, preceding the close of the war, L,02S Delegates were sent out, 
which rate, continued through the year, would have given n> 3,069. Tims, 
reckoning the Delegates by the hundred, for more ready comparison, they show 
:tn annual growth in the ratio of 3, 12,22,30. I" the lir-i year the receipts 

amounted to $231,000 ; in the sei 1 year they were ^ '. 1 1 r. . s : : 7 ; in the third i ar 

they were $2,882,3 17 ; fr January t" May, 1865, one-third of a year of active 

campaign, they were $2,228,105, which rate, continued twelve months, would 
have given, for tliis last year, $6,684,815. The donations, counted by the hun- 
dred thousand, mark an in. i. ase in the ratio of '-', 9, 28, 66. 



No representation of the methods and achievements 
of the Christian Commission would be satisfactory or 
just that failed to mention the operations of its chief 
auxiliaries. The spontaneity and freedom of the entire 
movement are well illustrated in the origin and organi- 
zation of these auxiliaries, and in the nature of their con- 
nection with the central Commission. No two of them 
were organized upon precisely the same plan, and there 
was great variety in the details of their methods, but 
their unity of aim and spirit was complete, and their co- 
operation could scarcely have been more harmonious or 
more efficient. In one place, as Chicago, a vigorous 
committee of the local Young Men's Christian Associa- 
tion preceded the formation of the Commission by months 
of sanitary and religious labor among the soldiers at home 
and in the field, and as soon as opportunity offered they 
readily became the Commission's representative in their 
community, and used the Commission as their medium 
of communication with the army. In another place, as 
St. Louis, the work was begun by individual effort, and 
afterward j)assed into the hands of a local organization ; 
this ultimately becoming an auxiliary of the Commission. 
Again, as at Pittsburg, a society which was fully organ- 



ized and acting as the agency of an extensive community, 
was made, by their own vote and the acceptance of the 
central Executive Committee, a Branch Commission. 
Or. as at Boston, a resident member of the Commission 
was its official and active representative, while the Young 
.Men's Association was in hearty co-operation. Or finally, 
as in several places, alter the benevolence of a community 
had for a while reached the army through various chan- 
nels, without any organized connection with the Commis- 
sion, an auxiliary was constituted by the formal action 
of the central Committee. For all that makes these 
annals worthy of preservation, many of these Branches 
are not less entitled to commemoration than the main 
Commission itself. In the gratuitous and devoted ser- 
vices of those who sustained tin' organizations and per- 
formed the principal share of the work, as well as in the 
economy and efficiency of the management, there was no 
distinction among the several societies, except such as 
might arise from peculiarity of circumstances or position. 
Prominent business men in all the large cities, — men 
representing every evangelical denomination of Chris- 
tians, — gave their time, influence, and business facilities 
to the work of the Commission, nor did they grow weary 
or withdraw until the work was done. None of these 
labors enter at any point into the financial exhibits of 
the Commission, except that they are absent from the 
expense account. They deserve at least this general 
notice, to suggest, in connection with the gratuitous labors 
of the thousands of Delegates, how freely this blessed 
charily was served. It should also be remarked that the 
discounts received by the Commission in its vast pur- 
chases, throughout the country, supplied manifoldly all 


the incidental expenses of working its machinery, — so 
that the business men of the nation were not only large 
contributors to the Commission's funds, but enabled it 
thus indirectly to distribute the nation's bounty without 


Each of the chief auxiliaries was the centre of a large 
number of smaller tributaries, — the town and village aid 
societies. These smaller societies were characterized 
oftentimes by energy and economy not less than those 
of the more prominent organizations. Here the women 

were usually the chief actors, and not seldom the work 
was carried forward without a penny of pecuniary ex- 

Without pretending to entire accuracy, the order in 
which the following societies are mentioned is that of 
the date of organization. 


The early work at this place has keen already described 
in part. Previous to the organization of the Christian 
Commission, and mainly through tin 1 agency of those 
who were afterward identified with it, large quantities of 
reading-matter were sent from this point into the army. 
Immediately after the meeting of the Commission in 
Washington, December, 1861, an auxiliary Army Com- 
mittee was appointed and rooms secured. The Com- 
mittee, after two or three changes made during the fol- 
lowing year, consisted of William Ballantyne, ( liairman; 
M. 11. Miller, member of the Commission; Rev. John 
Thrush; X. Richards. The Young Men's Christian 
Association was also active in co-operation. 

Mr. Ballantvne communicates, under date of January 


22, L866, the following narrative of events connected 
with their early operations. It shows the cordial rela- 
tions am! co-operation of the several parties engaged in 
those preliminary movements: — 

After a week's isolation from the outer world t following the 
attack upon ilic Massachusetts and Pennsylvania troops in Balti- 
more, April 1!), 1861), oilier troops began to c e in, and many 

of them not supplied with the Word of God. The Washington City 
Bible Society asked the Young Men's Christian Association to under- 
take the labor of distribution, winch they cordially did, and appointed 
ten of the most active memhers, who districted the city and most 
faithfully attended to their duly. The troops at that time were all 
quartered inside the city, in the largest buildings which could he pro- 
cured. While this work of Bible supply was being attended to, Mr. 

Brought of the Boston Tract Society, came to Washington, to see 

how their publications could he best distributed to the soldiers. He 
called upon me just when some of the Bible agents were in for their 
supply. We stateil to him our mode of operations, and he at once 
said. "This is just what I want. Will you, in addition, distribute our 

little 1 ks, prepared especially fin' the soldiers?" We answered, 

" ^ es." Promptly and liberally the hooks came along, and were, m 

the way 1 have mentioned, carried to the men for whom they were 

designed, gratefully received and eagerly read. Supplies of reading 

matter wn-e also received from the New York Tract Society, Massa- 
chusetts S. S. Society, and others. 

The troops were moved out of the city and across the Potomac, 
where they could not he so easily reached, although some of the 
young men did follow them and keep up the work. We then sought 
to make the acquaintance of all the chaplains, and inform them 
where a supply of Testaments and reading could be had for their 

Thus things continued, until alter the battle of Bull Hun i Sunday, 
July 21, L86] I, when a delegation from the Young .Men's Christian 
Association of New York came to Washington, to render what assist- 

ance they COUld to the army. They were most excellent and devoted 

men. Mr. Vincent Culver remained after the others had gone home, 



and while thus engaged felt the necessity of a inure general organiza- 
tion, which would represent the Young Mien's Christian Associations 
of tlic country, and be the medium through which the church could 
pour out its benefactions for our noble defenders. The suggestion of 
Mr. Colyer was cordially endorsed by the Washington Association, 
and a circular was issued urging the calling of a Convention to 
organize a Christian Commission. Geo. EI. Stuart, as chairman of 
the confederated associations, issued the call, the ( invention was held 
in the city of New Fork, and the Christian Commission organized. 

While Mr. Colyer's proposition was being considered, and before 
the Commission eot fairly underway, the work had so grown that 
our store could no longer contain the amount of material for use. 
The General < i-overnment, being applied to, granted the use of a room 
in the Post-< >ffice building, which, after the organization of the United 
States Christian Commission, was, by vote of the Association, turned 
over to it. This, however, soon being found too small, the whole 
material was removed to the large hall oftheYoung Men's Christian 
Association. It was the room thus granted to the Association in 
which Mr. Alvord, of the Boston Tract Society, attended personally 
to the distribution of their own material. 

The Young Men's Christian Association of Washington cares 
little about the honor of being first in the tield. They were on the 
ground, and it was only their duty. The Association hesitated not 
to stand tine to the nation's cause, although some of our members left 
us and went to their own place. 

The Commission encountered peculiar difficulties in 
Washington. A large portion of the population, espe- 
cially in the earlier stages of the war, was in sympathy 
with the Southern cause 3 and a practical indifference 
characterized many others. The sojourners there, always 
numerous, in pursuit mainly of political or personal ends, 
did nut care to identity themselves with any benevolent, 
least of all with tiny religious, movement. That there 
were active Christian workers in all these classes it is 
gratifying to testify, and they increased alike in numbers 

A ix I i.i \ i; i i:s. — wash i n< ;ton. 2! »'. I 

and activity as the society of the Capita] became purged 
of disloyalty. And then Washington, inure than any 
other city, was regarded as common ground by tin' mul- 
titudinous solicitors of public favor ami patronage. All 
the national interests being represented there, and its 
inhabitants being so largely made up of persons from all 
parts of the country, the various sectional appeals for aid 
found opportunity for their advocacy, lint tin' Chris- 
tian Commission had warm and earnest friends among 
the pastors and members of the several churches; no| a 
i'ew of the ladies proved themselves cHicieiil helpers; 

and substantial evidences of interest were received from 
Government officials of all ranks and departments of the 
public service, and from many private citizens. Presi- 
dent Lincoln more than once contributed to its funds. 
During the progress of its work the Commission received 
from Washington the sum of $25,039.62, and other dona- 
tions to the value of $26,620, — being a total of $51,659.62. 
Washington was the centre of a vast field for the 
operations of the Commission. It was always the near 
or remote base for the armies acting against Richmond, 
and was itself occupied or surrounded by numerous forti- 
fications, camps, military prisons, hospitals, rests, etc. 
Alexandria, seven miles helow Washington, and con- 
nected with it by a thickset line of forts and camps, was 
regarded as a suburb of the Capital, and duplicated its 
need of labor. In all these places where the soldiers 

were gathered, sick or well, the Delegates of the Com- 
mission were daily visitors, with their benevolent and 
timely ministrations for both body and soul. 

A- has been noticed, Washington was, early in the 
war, divided into districts by the Young .Men's .Wo- 



ciation, and each district assigned to a committee, so 
that there should he no lack of religions visitation 
among the hospitals and camps. A missionary, Rev. O. 
P. Pitcher, was employed, the chief part of whose salary 
was afterward assumed by the Commission, who gave 
himself with constancy and faithfulness to labor for the 
soldiers, and continued until after the operations of the 
Commission were closed. He went mainly among those 
who were destitute of chaplains and of religious advan- 
tages, as the teamsters, quartermasters' men, prisoners, 
guards, detached squads, and those who were detained 
for a few hours at the Soldiers' Rest. From the frequent 
changes taking place among these classes, the number of 
men reached was very great, — not less than 270,000 
passing through the Soldiers' Rest alone in a single year. 
As indicating the kind and amount of labor performed, 
we may take Mr. Pitcher's summary for three years: — 

Scriptures distributed "2s, 177 

Religious papers 155,898 

Books and pamphlets 11,855 

Pages of Tracts 1,773,261 

Religious services held 1,498 

Converts and inquirers 587 

Visits, exclusive of meetings 1,181 

Miles traveled ill the work 5,240 

These figures imperfectly suggest the labors of one 
man, and in the cities of Washington and Alexandria, 
with the intermediate and contiguous field, there were 
from ten to fifty Delegates constantly employed. It is 
impossible to set forth their work by statistics, for while 
the number and money value of the articles distributed 
may be given, wdio can estimate the influence of an earn- 
est religious meeting, of words of comfort spoken in 
private, of a visit to the cot of the dying, of the letter 
written to distant friends, of the numberless deeds of 


thoughtful kindness, ending only with the Christian 
burial? In Alexandria there were often as many as 
forty sermons preached on a Sabbath by the Delegates, 
and a proportionate amount of other labor. 

The great military camp near Arlington Heights de- 
serves an entire chapter, but can receive only a few sen- 
tences. At first it was Camp Convalescent, where the 
convalescing soldiers were gathered from the various 
hospitals to make room for fresh cases, and wait until 
their strength was sufficient for duty in the field. After- 
ward it was Camp Distribution, the general rendezvous 
and camp of instruction for soldiers in transitu. The 
men were continually changing, and the numbers varied 
from one thousand to fifteen or twenty thousand. It is 
estimated that during the years I860 and 1,S(>4 there 
were more than 200,000 soldiers in this one camp. The 
Commission's work began with the beginning of the 
camp, and continued until it was broken \\]>. The small 
tents at first used as a chapel gave place to a wooden 
structure, — erected by the soldiers from lumber furnished 
by the ( lommission, — and this was successively enlarged 
until it would hold more than a thousand men. Even 
then it was often found too small to accommodate all 
who came to the religious meetings, and the numbers 
standing outside, about the openings, were sometimes 
equal to those within. It was the scene of a continuous 
revival. While visitation by the Delegates was constant 
in the barracks, at the hospital, ami at the neighboring 
forts, meetings were held daily, two or three times a day, 
at the chapel. Stated evenings in each week were de- 
voted tu meetings for temperance, literary exercises, etc. 
During the year L864, in the cam]) and at the six nearest 


forts, " more than 700 sermons were preached, with the 
accompanying exercises of prayer and praise, and more 
than '.too prayer-meetings were held, in which the sol- 
diers took an active and most acceptable part." Of the 
same year it is said, "Many thousands were awakened 
to feel their need of a Saviour, and to ask for the prayers 
of Christians ; and we believe that thousands have been 
born of the Spirit, and brought into the kingdom of 
(iod's dear Son. Evening' after evening, twenty, thirty, 
forty, fifty, and sometimes a hundred, have risen at a 
time, to be specially remembered in prayer." On one 
occasion at least the number was two hundred. A 
"Christian Brotherhood" was established, in which many 
were enrolled who had already made public profession 
of their Christian faith, and to which many more were 
united by baptism. The Lord's Supper was administered 
on the first Sunday in each month. 1 

There were other points within this district scarcely 
interior in the interest and results of their religions 
labors to the camp just mentioned, but what has been 
given must stand as representative of all. 

The gathering of the great army at Washington, in 
the summer of 1SG5, for their final "muster-out," — 
General Sherman's troops having joined the forces of 
the East, — furnished a fitting close to the work of the 
Commission among them. Large supplies of under- 
clothing and of anti-scorbutics were distributed to Gen- 

1 The Christian Commission, by official action, disclaimed all exercise of 
ecclesiastical functions, avowing that its Delegates and Agents, as such, had no 
more authority for administering the ordinances of the church than tin- the 
ordaining of a clergyman. Much, however, was necessarily left to the discre- 
tion of the Delegates themselves, and as matter of fact the ordinances were 
frequently administered by ministers of various denominations. 

A.XJX I U A i: I ES. — WASH ] X( m >x. ■ !< >' ! 

era] Sherman's men, — "potatoes and onions by the 
thousand bushels, and hundreds of barrels of cucumber 
pickles," — they being in peculiar need alter their long 
march across the country. And throughoul the army, 
in their encampments near the city, the Delegates pitched 
their tents again, — "holding preaching services and 
prayer-meetings, visiting systematically through the 
regiments, brigades, and divisions, talking with the men, 
and supplying them with religious reading, and such 
hospital stores as were needed.*' 

The active work of the Commission in this district 
elosed with the month of August, 1865, excepl thai the 

office in Washington was kept open a little longer. The 
hospitals were emptied and the regiments dispersed, — 
and the Commission, closing in behind the returning 
Columns, saw them safely home. 

The Commission was served livable and faithful men. 
Those who were in more responsible charge of the 
work, — F. F. Shearer, II. P. San ford, Rev. S. L. Bowler, 
Rev. .}. J. Abbott, at Washington; Rev. C. P. Lyford, 
Rev. Edward Hawes, Rev. J. 1'. Fisher, at (amp Con- 
valescent; Rev. ( ). C. Thompson, at Alexandria; Rev. 
( ). R. Pitcher, and Rev. J. C. Kin gsley, as missionaries, — 
should be especially named. Mr. William Ballantyne, 
who generously gave of his time and means to the Com- 
mission, had the oversight of the entire work, and in 
good part superintended its business Interests, not only 
iii the district, but in the armies operating against Rich- 
mond. How great these interests were, the tables of 
receipts and disbursements' will partially indicate. 

'The reference here and throughout tlii- chapter, to "statistical tables," is 
to those which are given in the closing chapti c of the I k. 



Philadelphia was interested in the Christian Commis- 
sion from its organization, and was one of its most con- 
stant and most generous contributors. An Army Com- 
mittee of the Young Men's Christian Association was 
organized, as has been stated elsewhere, July 4, 1861. 
Its membership was somewhat changed from year to 
year, but for the greater portion of the war H. N. 
Thissell was Chairman, and Thomas Tolman, Secretary. 
Upon the formation of the Commission this Committee 
at once became co-operative with it, and by a resolution 
passed February 16, 1863, became more closely related 
as an auxiliary. This Committee established a system 
of Sunday evening meetings in behalf of the Commis- 
sion, by which almost every church in the city and the 
adjoining communities was reached. Very much was 
thus done to sustain and guide public opinion, and to 
keep up the general interest and enthusiasm to the last. 
The Committee also maintained a constant visitation of 
the hospitals and camps in and around the city, — there 
1 icing on their list, at the height of the war, twenty-five 
of the former and six or eight of the latter. By re- 
quest of the Governor and the State Surgeon-General, 
there was kept at the rooms of the Association a record 
of all the sick and disabled Pennsylvania soldiers in the 
hospitals of the district. This record, which finally 
contained more than fifty thousand names, was of great 
service in answering with promptness and accuracy the 
numerous incpiiries that came from anxious friends. A 
generous donation of several hundred tons of coal, made 
by the coal oj)erators of Schuylkill county, to the needy 
families of absent or disabled Philadelphia soldiers, was 

A UX I LIAB I ES. — BOSTON. ■ !< > "> 

freely transported by tlie Reading railroad, received by 
the Chairman of the Commission, and found the last 
link in this chain of benevolence in its free distribution 
to tlie worthy recipients by the hands of the Array 
Committee. Mr. Joseph Parker was the active agenl 
of the ( lommittee in all these labors of Christian charity, 
and contributed materially to their success. 

The nearness of this Committee to the Central Office 
of the Commission prevented it from becoming as dis- 
tinctly conspicuous as it might otherwise have been. 
The above brief statement, however, will indicate the 
value and extent of its usefulness, as an auxiliary of the 
Commission and as an agent of local relief. It should 
he added, that the first delegation sent to the army by 
the Commission was mainly a deputation from this 
Committee and their fellow-members of the Association. 


December 2, 1861, the Boston Young Men's Chris- 
tian Association, at a special meeting, received the 
report of their delegation to the convention that formed 
the Christian Commission. Upon hearing the report 

it was 

Resolved, That this Association approves of the object proposed 
by the Christian Commission, and will aid it so far as may seem 

This resolution may not indicate much enthusiasm at 
the outset, and the Association could not divine the 

labors that were to come upon it during the terrible 
years then about to open, but the pledge was fully re- 
deemed. At the same meeting an Army Committee 



was appointed, consisting of Edward S. Tobey (Chair- 
man), Joseph Story (Treasurer), J. Sullivan Warren, 
Jacob Sleeper, R. Sturgis, Jr., which Committee served 
unchanged throughout the war. L. P. Rowland, Jr., as 
agent of the Committee, had charge of the receipt ami 
forwarding of stores. 

With the exceptions of Western Massachusetts, Con- 
necticut, and Rhode Island, New England found a 
natural and convenient centre in Boston, and hence the 
Committee in Boston acted for that entire section. Mr. 
Charles Demond, a member of the Commission, and of 
the central Executive Committee, had oversight of the 
work, neglecting his own affairs that he might devote 
the greater part of his time to the Commission's in- 
terests. The Army Committee was hearty and constant 
in its co-operation. As there were few. military hospitals 
or camps in their vicinity, — the policy of the Govern- 
ment being to keep these at a less distance from the seat 
of war, — and as the local needs of the navy were at- 
tended to hy other members of the Association, 1 the 
labors of the Committee were chiefly given to the col- 
lection of funds and supplies for the Central Office at 
Philadelphia. How well this work was done the sta- 
tistical tables will show. Local organizations were 
established in the principal towns throughout New 
England; through the use of printed circulars and 
newspaper appeals, and the voluntary service of returned 

'The receiving-ship at the' Charlestown navy-yard, where many thousands 
enlisted into the navy during the war, was regularly visited by members of the 

Association, under the general direction of Mr. Rowland. Meetings were held 
every night, and distributions of reading-matter and stores were frequently 
made. The ship was the scene of almost continuous religious revival. The 
camps at Reidville and at Oalloupe's Island were similarly remembered. 


Delegates, in holding meetings and making visitations, 
almost every community was reached; in many churches 
the fourth Sunday evening of each month was ohserved 
as a concert of prayer for the army; and the supply of 
resources was continuous and large. In the number of 
Delegates commissioned (799) and the amount of money 
contributed ($330,197.86) during the full period of the 

(' mission's operations, Boston was in advance of any 

other Branch; in stores and publications donated ( 1,032 
packages at an estimated value of $494,200) she was 
just behind Pittsburg and Cincinnati. The Boston 

Go rittee also issued an admirable army hymn book, 

with tunes, which was much sought after and widely 

On three occasions, — after the battle of Gettysburg 
in 1863, after the battles of the Wilderness in 1864, and 
alter the tall of Richmond in 1865, — Mr. Demond, Mr. 
Tobey, and other members of the Army Committee, 
waited iii the Merchants' Exchange to receive the offer- 
ings of the people for their suffering defenders. No 
one was solicited for a contribution; by the courtesy of 
the Superintendent of the Exchange, these men posted 
their telegrams from the Central Office and the battle- 
fields upon the bulletin hoard, kept their station at a 
convenient table, and received what was freely handed 

them. The receipts were, respectively, $35,000, $60,000, 
$30,000.' And in addition, the general interest in the 
work of the Commission was thus increased, and con- 
tributions from other sources were multiplied. Few 
scenes are more worthy of commemoration than this of 
converting the busy place and season of trade into OCCa- 

1 See p. 'J'.:;. 


sious of patriotic benevolence, and nothing furnishes a 
better index of the true and permanent feeling of Boston 
and New England toward the men who were fighting to 
perpetuate and extend the blessings of liberty. New 
England did not forget either her honor or her respon- 
sibility in the hour of trial, and these proofs that she 
did not forget are her memorial before the world. 


How promptly the Chicago Young Men's Christian 
Association engaged in patriotic and religious labors, at 
the outbreak of the war, has been previously noticed. 
They were active in promoting enlistments, and recruited 
four companies for the Seventy-second Illinois regiment, 
under the requisition of July, 1861, — having also had 
a number of representatives among the 75,000 volun- 
teers first called out. In their disbursements the Army 
Committee of this Association includes $758, especially 
given for "recruiting soldiers." The Army Committee, 
of which John Y. Farwell was Chairman, and B. F. 
Jacobs, Secretary, during the war, was appointed in the 
early summer of 1801. Previously to this the "Com- 
mittee on Devotional Meetings," — Messrs. D. L. Moody 
and B. F. Jacobs, — began religious meetings in Camp 
Douglas, and had published a soldiers' hymn book to 
facilitate their work. These meetings rapidly increased 
in number and interest, "until as many as eight or ten 
were held each evening, and hundreds were led to seek 
Christ." Camp Douglas was a permanent camp, having 
in connection with it one of the principal military 
prisons. A chapel was erected by the Christian Com- 
mission, a reading-room maintained, and later in the 


::<)'. i 

war a diet kitchen was established. An encouraging 
and fruitful religious interest was almost continuously 
prevalent. The clergymen and laymen of the city 
readily responded to a call for co-operation. Their first 
army Delegate, Mr. Moody, was sent out by the Com- 
mittee in October, 1861, to visit their former associates, 
who were then on duty in Kentucky. In such service, 
therefore, Chicago was probably second only to New- 
York. The Chicago Association joined in the Conven- 
tion that formed the Christian Commission, and became 
at once auxiliary to it through the Army Committee 
already organized, which afterward took the name of 
The Northwestern Branch. Their Chairman was made 
a constituent member of the Commission. Their first 
year's report shows them first among similar Committees, 
as to money expended and meetings held among the 

The home field of the Branch was limited by the 
organization of other auxiliaries within territory that 
would otherwise have found its centre at Chicago. 
Peoria and St. Louis both operated in Illinois, and the 
districts of Indianapolis and Milwaukee left but a narrow 
Strip between them. All therefore that remained to 
Chicago was a small fraction of her own State (about 
three-twelfths) and the northern half of Iowa. This 
doubtless secured the better cultivation of the whole 
Held, hut it diminished the financial exhibit of Chicago. 
There were also for a while influences at work, — in part 
her misapprehension of the necessity that the Commis- 
sion should have entire control of its own stores, and in 
pari her readiness to CO-operate practically with other 
societies, and yield to their measures and plans, — that 


kept the receipts of the Chicago Branch, especially in 
stores, much lower than they should have heen. But 
these influences were largely overcome, as her closing- 
returns will show, — remembering that her home field 
was then at the smallest. 

This Branch was among the first to appreciate the 
importance of Cairo as a point for Christian labor, being 
there able to reach the thousands of troops continually 
moving to or from the Southwestern armies. A build- 
ing was erected in 1864, at a cost of about $3,000, upon 
ground whose use was generously given by the Illinois 
Central Railroad, and all departments of the Commis- 
sion's labors were vigorously carried forward. The 
supervision of this work afterward passed into the hands 
of the Committee at Peoria, and was finally, November 
1, 1805, transferred to the Committee at St. Louis. Chi- 
cago united with other Western auxiliaries, as has been 
noticed, in caring for the troops along the line of the 
Mississippi river, — not a few of their men, however, per- 
forming service in other parts of the army. After the 
surrender of the rebel armies and the disbanding of our 
own, in the early summer of 1865, while the Commission 
was closing up its work, Chicago was enabled to give 
assistance at several points which, by the continued pres- 
ence of troops or new necessity for them, could not be at 
once abandoned. Nashville was thus aided, through the 
agency of General Fisk, and St. Louis was helped in 
caring for the troops in Texas and on the Plains. Timely 
pecuniary means for these supplementary labors were 
received through the courtesy of the managers of the 
" Soldiers' Home and Sanitary Fair," who generously 
shared their receipts with the Chicago Committee of the 


Christian Commission. Work in Texas was continued 
until the spring of L866, and it is a pleasanl and strik- 
ing coincidence that the last two Chicago Delegates to 
return from the field were the first minister of the gospel 
ever located in that city, Rev. Jeremiah Porter, and his 
venerable wife. 

The Chicago Committee did much for the comfort of 
soldiers on their way to their homes in the Northwest, 
and for those who congregated in the city to seek employ- 
ment. In conjunction with the Sanitary Commission a 
Bureau of Employment was organized, to which the 
Army ( iommittee contributed, in all, #3,000, and through 
which more than 1,400 men were furnished with situa- 
tions, "at an expense to the Bureau of less than one 
dollar each." 


An Army Committee was appointed by the St. Louis 
Young .Men's Christian Association, December 10, 1861, 
with E. D. Jones as chairman. The work undertaken 
was mainly local, for which there was great demand. 1 
St. Louis was within the seat of war at the West, and 
was the headquarters of large numbers of troops. Pre- 
viously to the organization of this Committee, Mr. 
Mel nly re ami others had labored systematically and 
efficiently, as elsewhere related, among the soldiers, so 
that the first soldiers to cross the Mississippi were wei- 

1 The duties ofthia Committee, as designated in the resolution appointing ii. 

were "to visit soldiers in camps and hospitals, hold religious meetings a ng 

1 1 1 • 1 1 1 . and distribute such reading-matter as can In' procured for the purp — ." 

Weekly prayer-meetings were at cur,- i imenced in Benton, Schofield, ami 

Alexander Barracks ; an. I in Fifth Street, Lawson, t '• I Samaritan, and Marine 

Hospitals, The Committee were assisted in the distribution of reading-matter 
i'\ iiijmv ladies of the city. 


cdincd by Christian friends, and with supplies, more or 
less abundant, of religious reading. These independent 
labors were continued until September, 1862, when the 
Committee was re-organized, taking the title of Western 
Army Committee, and Mr. Mclntyre became identified 
with it. Until the business enlarged beyond the capa- 
city of Ids store to accommodate it, Mr. Mclntyre acted 
as Depositary, and freely furnished room for its publi- 
cations and sanitary supplies. A year later, September 
28, L863, the name of the Committee was still further 
changed to the St. Louis Branch of the United States 
Christian Commission. January 1, L864, Mr. Jones 
having resigned, Mr. Isaac S. Smyth, who had been a 
mem her of the Committee from the beginning, was chosen 
chairman. At the close of that year, December 30, he 
was succeeded by Mr. Mclntyre. During the most im- 
portant portion of the history of this Branch, that is, 
from January, lSlil, Ivlwin Ticknor was Treasurer, and 
J. II. Parsons, Corresponding Secretary. 

As above stated, St. Louis was the centre of a large 
and necessitous army field. The numerous camps and 
hospitals in and around the city, and throughout the 
State, furnished large demands for reading-matter. A 
general and judicious distribution was made through 
systematic correspondence with the chaplains and others, 
and occasional visitations by Delegates. The early policy 
of the Committee does not seem to have favored much 
attention to sanitary supplies, for which the Western 

Sanitary Commission, the Ladies' Union Aid Society. 
and State organizations, made more exclusive provision. 
And it i> pleasant to record the spirit of fraternal and 
courteous co-operation which was continually manifest 


among these societies of kindred aims. More than once 
or twice the Western Sanitary Commission showed its 
substantial good-will toward the Christian Coin mission, 
as when, for example, upon an appeal for hooks, in 1864, 
they turned over to the St. Louis Branch thirty camp 
libraries; and again, in L865, they placed at the disposal 
of the same Branch many thousand dollars' worth of 

stores. Similar illustrations might he given of the action 

of several of the Western State Sanitary Commissions. 
lint the experience of the Christian Commission was 
confirmed by that of its several Branches, that sanitary 
supplies, in its own possession and under its own control, 
were essentia] to the successful performance of its more 
spiritual work. In ministering to soldiers the cases 

were numerous where the only thing a Christian would 
dare to do was to ivvd the Sufferer Or hind up his wounds, 
and not to have then at command a bandage or a piece 
of bread was not only to he guilty of failure in meeting 
an emergency, hut it was to compromise the influence 
and usefulness of himself and his society. The religious 
trad, or the word of admonition and encouragement, 
given to a victim of the battle-field, after his body had 
been carefully washed, and i'n\, and dressed, and laid 
upon a clean pillow, was like the exhortation of Chrisl 
to the wretched man whom he had healed. 1 So the niis- 

1 The fire! Annual Report of the Commission gives an illustration in point: 
" M i J. describes the garret of the old Harrison manison, :ii Harrison's Land- 
ing, with i(> eighty-five men Btowed away under the scorching roof. He says, 
their boot! were w hardened by the int< nse heal thai they had to cu( them off 
with a knife, in order to bathe their feet. The attendants refused i" work there. 
The Delegates undertook to do what they could. They prepared buckets oi 
cool, nice lemonade, and took them u|p on the stain leading to the garret; 
the stairs were so narrow thai only one could ascend al a time. Leaving the 


take early and readily corrected itself, and at St. 
Louis, as elsewhere, the practice became established of 
gathering and distributing hospital and other sanitary 
stores, — constantly purchasing them in large quanti- 
ties, besides using all that were donated, — as an essen- 
tial though secondary characteristic of the Commission's 

In 18G3 the St. Louis Branch was made the general 
distributing agency for all the troops along the Missis- 
sippi river, as far South as to the northern boundary 
ill' Louisiana, — that is, for the armies operating West of 
the departments of the Ohio and the Cumberland. The 
limits thus indicated were observed after the military 
departments were changed and consolidated. The aux- 
iliaries at Chicago, Peoria, Detroit, and Milwaukee united 
with St. Louis in supplying this Mississippi field. The 
principal centres of operations within the army were at 
Memphis, Vicksburg, and Little Rock, with stations at 
other points, while Cairo, and the various j:>osts nearer 
home and in the Northwest, were not forgotten. At the 
chief offices named, during the greater part of their occu- 
pation, Messrs. K. A. Burnell, Rev. F. G. Ensign, and C. 
C. Thayer were in charge. Other agents and perma- 
nent delegates rendered efficient service. Rev. Shepard 
Wells was both a Collecting and a Field Agent, looking 

lemonade out of sight, on the stairs. Rev. Mr. S. proposed a short religions 
service, read some of the comforting words of Jesus, from the Gospel of John, 
and talked very tenderly of home, of heaven, and of the Saviour. Good was 
done, no doubt ; but not so much as if the lemonade had come first. After the 
service they passed around their buckets and cups ; and more than one said to 
Mr. J., 'All! doctor, doctor, this is better than talk;' and to Mr. S. others 
said, 'Pardon me, sir; your talk was excellent, but this cooling drink is the 
best now.'" — First Annual Report, p. 19. 


after the welfare of the troops in Missouri, Kansas, etc., 
and raising money and supplies throughout the home 

A prominent and somewhat peculiar feature of the 
operations of the St. Louis Branch was the employment 
of lady Delegates or missionaries. 1 They were engaged 
as attendants' in the reading-rooms and visitors in the 
hospitals, doing whatever their quick sympathy and 
ready hands found to do for the bodily and spiritual 
comfort of the men. These ladies were stationed in St. 
Louis, at Jefferson Barracks (twelve miles below St. 
Loins), at Fort Leavenworth, and at the rooms in Mem- 
phis, Vicksburg, and Little Bock. Some of them re- 
mained in the work from one to three years, and all of 
them performed services of great value. They were able, 
by their womanly affection, delicacy, and facility, to ex- 
ert an influence over the soldiers, for restraint and en- 
couragement, that was a most precious assistance alike to 
the surgeon and the religious teacher. One of these lady 
missionaries, in her report from Jefferson Barracks for 
1863, says, " Not a week has passed lull that some have 
been hopefully converted." Mr. Ensign says, " I speak 
within bounds when 1 say that hundreds were led to 

1 Ladies were similarly employed by other Committees, as, for example, at 
Ghicago, but in bo other field was tliis so prominent a characteristic as in the 
St. Louis district. 

Subjoined is a full list of tin- lady Delegates employed by tin- St. Louis 
Branch, as furnished by Mr. Mclntyre: — 

Mi-- Sue McBeth, Miss M. E. Burnell, Miss K. L. Ingalls, 

Mi— Nellie L. Barnard, Miss 1-'.. Hardenbrook, Mi— A. M. Turner, 

Miss Annie M. Johnson, Mi - N. II. Bowe, Miss n. B. Lei in--. 

Miss II. M. Bissell, Miss S. \. Sprague, Mrs. I). 0. Searles, 

Mi— Laura M. Pinney, Mrs. Belle Tanriahill, Mrs. D. E. orange, 

Miss Josephine Kimball, Miss Mary Porter, Mrs. Plumb. 


Jesus by these ladies." Many testimonials might be 
given of the fruitfulness of their labors and of the grati- 
tude of those to whom they ministered, as well as of the 
effect in deepening and strengthening their own religious 

The fact that St. Louis was within the arena of con- 
flict, — the State being at times occupied by from 20,000 
to 50,000 troops, — while adding to its expenditures and 
labors, diminished its local resources. But liberal things 
were devised and done for the Commission in St. Louis 
and elsewhere in the State, while other portions of the 
home field, especially Southern Iowa, responded with 
noble generosity. 

When, in the summer of 1865, large bodies of troops 
were moved into Texas and upon the Plains of the 
Northwest, the St. Louis Branch assumed the task of 
carrying forward the work of the Commission among 
them. It was estimated, in August, that there were 
60,000 men in Texas, 20,000 upon the Plains, and not 
far from 20,000 at other points in the St. Louis district. 
In many respects the value and fruitfulness of these 
closing labors, religious and sanitary, were not surpassed 
by any performed during the history of the Commission. 
Certainly none were more opjjortune. The war was 
substantially at an end. The national interest which 
centred in the army, and which reflected every change 
in the fortunes of the conflict, culminated with the sur- 
render of Lee's and Johnston's forces. Enthusiasm in 
that direction had well-nigh exhausted itself, and there 
was danger that the soldiers who were now sent South 
and AVest would be forgotten. It was less easy to 
awaken public attention and raise funds necessary for 


continued service. The benevolent associations 1 that 
had followed the army were preparing to retire, and the 

soldiers were almost moved to complain that the friends 
at home became sooner wearied of the service of charity 
than did they of the sacrifices of the camp and battle- 
field. So that what had been done was in danger of 
losing its just renown, through neglect of what there 
was yet to do. But money had come freely into 
the various treasuries of the Commission, during the 
rapid military successes of the spring, in anticipa- 
tion of necessities that were largely avoided by the sur- 
render of the rebel armies without severe fighting. 
These means were now in part available for the new 

St. Louis was assisted from the Central Ollice, as also 
by the auxiliaries at Boston, Chicago, and other jxtints. 
Mr. John A. Cole, being no longer needed as General 
Field Agent in the Eastern armies, was induced to take 
charge of operations in Texas, and Rev. W. J. Gladwin 
occupied a similar position in the Northwest, with head- 
quarters at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The work was 
mainly done by permanent paid Delegates, although the 
work itself was only a repetition of what had been so 
often performed. The Overland Express Company, as 
well as the various railroad, steamboat, express, and tele- 
graph companies, whose lines centred in St. Louis, 
granted the use of their great facilities to the Commis- 
sion. The agency in Texas was withdrawn in April, 
1866; the station at Little Hock, the last in the Missis- 
sippi field, closed early in June; and the station at Fort 

1 No national society, except the Christian Commission, had workers among 
the troops sent to Texas and the Western Plain-. 


Leavenworth, the final scene of the Commission's active 
labors, Avas closed June 21. 

The Committee in St. Louis, after active field labors 
ceased, were engaged in placing their remaining libra- 
ries among the forts in the Western territories, and did 
not close their office until August 1, 1866. Even then 
they did not disband, but continued their organization, 
for the purpose of disbursing their unexpended funds in 
accordance with the original trust. 


The Baltimore Christian Association, as has been 
stated, was organized for work among the camps and 
hospitals of the city, in May, 1861. In the course of 
the following year it was brought into correspondence 
with the Christian Commission, from which it also re- 
ceived some contributions of stores. This led the Com- 
mission to appoint an auxiliary Committee in Baltimore, 
early in September, 1862, consisting of G. S. Griffith, 
President of the above Association, Rev. J. N. McJilton, 
d.d., and Rev. George P. Hays. These gentlemen 
continued to serve throughout the war, with Mr. Grif- 
fith as Chairman and Dr. McJilton, Secretary. In 1864 
Mr. Hays was chosen Treasurer, and Rev. G. R. Bent, 
who had for some time been in the service of the Com- 
mission, was made General Agent, to have immediate 
oversight of affairs in the office. In the same year the 
Committee was enlarged, so as to represent the different 
religious denominations and the different sections of the 
home field. Mr. Griffith, besides devoting most of his 
time to the work, gave also the requisite accommodations 
for office and warehouse. 

\ r \ i i,i a 1:1 i.s. — n.\ OTIMOB E. 3 1 !• 

The district assigned to the Baltimore Committee con- 
sisted tit' the State of Maryland, to which was added, for 
convenience, the county of York, Pennsylvania, and, 
for a while, a portion of the State of Delaware. This 
will be seen to include, besides the important city of 
Baltimore, the line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 
to the Western boundary of Maryland, the camps and 
hospitals at Annapolis, Point Lookout, York, and other 
points. It was thus really more of an army field than 
a home field, although answering for both. The expen- 
ditures would of necessity exceed the receipts. The 
widespread and even violent sympathy with the rebel- 
lion, in the city and State, with all the indifference and 
opposition to such an institution as the Christian Com- 
mission which this sympathy implies, made the position 
of the Baltimore Committee alike delicate and difficult. 
But their success in collecting money and stores was 
considerable, as the tattles will show. 

The numerous hospitals in Baltimore were systemati- 
cally visited and well-eared for. Having, for the most 
part, faithful chaplains, the ladies of the city formed 
themselves into relief associations, one for each hospital, 
and thus gave themselves, with the co-operation of the 
gentlemen of the Christian Association, to supply every 
necessity. Through these several agencies, and under 
their own personal supervision, the Committee of the 
Christian Commission carried on their local work. 

Few points made memorable by the great war surpass 
in sad ami tender interest ( amp Parole and its neighbor- 
ing hospitals and barracks, at Annapolis. Here came 
the thousands, exchanged or waiting to he exchanged, 
from the terrible prisons at Richmond, Andersonville, 


and elsewhere. The world lias heard much of the hor- 
rors endured in these prisons, hut the half is not yet 
told. 1 It was the privilege of the Christian Commission, 
mainly through the Baltimore Agency, to assist in 
bestowing such relief and comfort as were possible. 2 
When it could be done, Delegates and stores were placed 
upon the transports, on their way to the points desig- 
nated for the exchange of prisoners, so that aid might 
be given at the earliest moment. The work done at 
Annapolis was among the most blessed and fruitful of 
any performed by the Commission. Not only did kind 
nursing, with such supjdies of food and clothing as were 
necessary, contribute much to the restoration of the men, 
— saving indeed many lives, — but the religious reading 
furnished, and the opportunities for hearing the gospel 
preached, and joining in meetings for social worship, 
were not less appreciated than the material comforts. 
To many of them there had been added to all their 
other hardships a famine of the Word of God, and they 
rejoiced in the abundant feast. As at Camp Convales- 

1 Take simply this picture, with all that it suggests of privation and suffer- 
ing. It is given by a Delegate of the Commission, laboring in 1863 at Annapo- 
lis. Perhaps some time an artist may be found who can put it upon canvas : — 
" S. Chatfield, Company E, First Mounted Rifles, New York, said he saw six 
men, who were wasted by hunger and chilled with cold, for one dollar procure 
a small stick of wood, cut it in pieces and make a fire of it, and sit down to get 
a little heat. When it had burned up, one poor fellow leaned over the place 
where the tire had been; he put his face in his hands, and in the morning was 
found dead in that position." — Second Annual Report, p. 169. 

2 In the Report of the Ladies' Christian Commission of Buffalo, more par- 
ticularly noticed elsewhere, is this refreshing item: "Thirteen large boxes 
(weighing over a ton) of poultry, pies, cake, pickles, jellies, apple?, etc., were 
sent to Annapolis, Maryland, for Thanksgiving Dinner (November 24, 1864) 
for our returned prisoners at that place." The preceding Christmas a dinner 
was provided for about 1,200 men there, by contributions from various sources. 

AT'X I LI A I! I r.S. B ALT1 MOB E. 321 

fciil and other similar stations, so at Camp Parole there 
were frequent seasons of protracted religious revival. It 
may scorn strange, while the fact itself produces a singu- 
lar feeling of relief, that, with all their destitution of reli- 
gious advantages, there had been no little religious inte- 
rest among these men during their confinement in the 
w retched Southern prisons. The explanation is perhaps 
not difficult. Dependent upon each other for sympathy 
and encouragement, save only as an occasional message 
from home might reach them, or an attendant negro 
might clandestinely give them a little assistance or a 
word of comfort, they were led by their circumstances 
and the influence of the Holy Spirit to look to God. It 
is attested by competent witnesses that hundreds were 
converted at Andcrsonville, where religious meetings 
were maintained by the prisoners with more or less regu- 
larity. Similar facts are reported from other prisons. 

Point Lookout, at the junction of the Potomac with 
Chesapeake Bay, was the site of a large prison camp. 
Several thousands of rebels were here in confinement, 
requiring a large force of Union soldiers and two or three 
gunboats to guard them. The Commission did good ser- 
vice among these various troops. The rebels were assisted 
in making arrangements for stated and frequent religious 
meetings, and were helped to supplies of reading-matter 
and sanitary stores. Clergymen and other Christian 
professors of their own number were of course glad to 
co-operate. Numerous conversions occurred among them, 
as at other prison encampments. Some of the Delegates 
thought the rebels even more ready to yield to religious 
influences than our own men, and many affecting inci- 
dents took place among them. The hospitals, both of 



the prisoners and the guard, contained their proportion 
of sick, and required the constant aid of the Commission. 
Point Lookout could not, from its retired position and 
its use as a prison, attract the attention and exeite the 
enthusiasm which attached to other places, hut by those 
who labored there it was recognized as an important and 
inviting field. The readiness of the Commission to be- 
stow its bounty upon those enemies of the country who 
had been taken prisoners was in general most heartily 
appreciated, and contributed something toward a better 
understanding of the real Christian feeling of the North. 

Two incidents in the operations of the Baltimore Com- 
mittee deserve special mention, as showing the facility 
with which the Commission met the emergencies of the 
hour. After the battle of Gettysburg, such of the dis- 
abled as could at all endure it were transported to the 
hospitals at Baltimore and elsewhere. The journey was 
wearisome and painful. At the instance of Dr. Cuyler, 
Medical Director, the Commission established a refresh- 
ment station, in cars juovided for the purpose, at Han- 
over Junction, thirty miles from Gettysburg and on the 
main line of railway. Here all the trains of wounded 
were stopped, and nourishing food and drink, — as lem- 
onade, ginger-water, tea and coffee, soft bread, etc., with 
stimulants for those that needed, — were liberally dis- 
tributed to the suffering men. This labor of love was 
for weeks in the hands of ladies from Baltimore, with 
such assistance from others as was requisite. 

Again, in the summer of 1804, the immense general 
hospital at City Point, covering forty acres and located 
wholly in tents, suffered greatly from dust. The nature 
of the soil, the warm dry weather, the constant grinding 


of tlio wagons and tramping of the horses, with the blow- 
ing of the wind, kept a dense cloud of dust continually 
over the camp, to the discomforl of all, and the increased 
suffering of the sick. Rev. A. 1?. Cross, of Baltimore, 
laboring for the Commission, suggested thai a steam fire- 
engine would relieve the case. General Grant approved 

the Suggestion, and at Once despatched Mr. Cross to Bal- 
timore, to secure an engine if possible. The Mayor 
readily assented, sending not only the engine hut men 
to work it. The neighboring Appomattox, by this means, 
speedily laid the dust of the camp, and furnished the 
hospital with an abundant supply of water. The Govern- 
ment soon assumed charge of this agency of relief. 

The Baltimore Committee, by its Delegates and in 
every other way, gave constant assistance to the Com- 
mission in the prosecution of its general work, in the 
armies before Richmond, in the Shenandoah Valley, and 


The Buffalo Young Men's Christian Association was 
represented in the Convention which formed the Chris- 
tian ( lommission, and John I). Hill, m. p., of their num- 
ber, was made a constituent member of the Commission. 
Early in 1862, the Association appointed an Army Com- 
mittee, with Dr. Hill as chairman, for local work among 
the soldiers. This Committee continued its labors, con- 
stantly increasing in their scope and influence, until the 
spring of 1S(>4. On the tilth day of April, of that year, 
a Convention met in Rochester, composed of gentlemen 
from the several communities interested, which recom- 
mended to the Central ( Mlice the establishment of a 


Branch Commission, with headquarters at Buffalo, to 
act for Western New York and Northwestern Pennsyl- 
vania. This was accordingly done, the title of the aux- 
iliary being The Branch, United States Christian Com- 
//lission for Western New York and Vicinity. Dr. Hill 
became Chairman; Rev. S. Hunt, Secretary; and F. 
Gridley, Treasurer. Different parts of the field were 
represented in the Executive Committee. This aux- 
iliary operated directly through the Central Office, 
sending its stores and Delegates both East and West, 
as circumstances might determine. The 'tables will 
indicate, with sufficient clearness, the amount of work 

In May, 18G3, a Ladies' Christian Commission w:as 
formed in Buffalo, which proved remarkably efficient. 
Although entirely distinct, as an organization, from the 
Branch Commission, the two societies worked together 
as mutual auxiliaries, the ladies contributing at least 
their full share to the success of the enterprise. More 
than half the cash receqrts reported by the Branch were 
from the ladies. All the stores received were by them 
repacked and prepared for shipment. They had one 
hundred and thirty-nine smaller aid societies tributary 
to them. To these were sent large quantities of flannel 
and other materials, which were returned in the shape 
of manufactured garments and other needful articles, 
almost always accompanied by contributions either of 
money or valuable stores. As there was no expense for 
labor in any part of the process of these manufactures, 
and the express comj)anies carried all the packages 
without charge, the whole presents a delightful example 


of the community of service for the soldiers by a noble 
band of patriotic and Christian women. 1 

Rochester was within the field assigned to the Buf- 
falo Committee, and made to it contributions of money 
and stores. In the latter part of the war, however, 
an independent Committee was organized, directly 
auxiliary to the Central Office, with Rev. Dr. Claxton as 
Chairman, and O. D. Grosvenor as Secretary and Trea- 
surer. The figures given in our tables must not be 
regarded as a measure of the benevolence of Rochester 
toward the soldiers. Immediately after the opening of 
the war several vigorous aid societies were formed, 
mainly operated by the ladies, which selected such 
channels for their benefactions as seemed best suited to 
their purposes. Some of them, in 1863, became tribu- 
tary to the Commission, and some continued to act inde- 
pendently of any national organization. They all did 
good service. 


An Army and Navy Committee, to act in concert with 
the Christian Commission, was appointed by the Brooklyn 
Young Men's Christian Association, December 4, 18(>1. 
They were for several months very efficient in local 
work, and also contributed largely to aid the troops at 
the seat of Avar. The Brooklyn Navy Yard, where 
many of the war vessels were put in commission, and 

' Two or three items in the reports of these ladies may be given, not only :is 
showing tin- nature and extent of their work, lint as indicating also what was 
done by similar societies in all parts of the country. For example, in tie Re- 
port for 1864, "Over twelve thousand yards of flannel have been cut and made 
up. without "lie Denny's expense I'm' labor." In the Report for 1865, "Number 
ill shirts cut during the year, 1,899; drawers, 1,485; pair- of socks ami mittens 
knit, 501." 


many of the marines enlisted, furnished an inviting 
field. Frequent meetings were held, with distributions 
of reading-matter and other articles, among the sailors 
thus made accessible, as also in the camps and hospitals 
of the vicinity. Donations of stores and publications, 
besides those contributed to the Central Office, were sent 
to the army through Mr. Colyer and other special 
agents, after several of the earlier battles, both in the 
East and West. Their Annual Report, presented in 
May, 1802, shows a disbursement already made of money 
and stores amounting to nearly $25,000, — by far the 
largest exhibit of any similar Committee for that year. 
In the first winter of the war, the Committee aided in 
tlu' purchase of chapel tents for four New York regi- 
ments, mainly from collections made in the city churches. 
During 1863, the contributions of Brooklyn for the 
army were sent almost wholly through other channels. 
On the 21st of March, 1804, was organized the Brooklyn 
and Long Island Christian Commission, with W. S. 
Griffith, President; S. B. Caldwell, Treasurer; Rev. J. 
B. Waterbury, o. n., Corresponding Secretary. This 
society, while it operated mainly through the Christian 
Commission, was yet independent in its organization. 
It made no efforts to raise sanitary stores, believing that 
its usefulness would be best promoted by confining its 
action to the soliciting of money, the commissioning of 
Delegates, and the distribution of reading-matter. The 
stores needed for distribution by its Delegates were taken 
from the general supplies of the Commission, or received 
from other societies. This fact will explain a feature 
almost peculiar to the statistical exhibit of Brooklyn, 
esj^ecially in the returns for the later years, — namely, 

Al'X 1 1,1 AIM is. — LOUISVILLE. "t'27 

that tlic ratio of the cash received and expended and 
the Delegates commissioned is much higher. than that of 
the stores reported. The Brooklyn Commission, like 
the Army Committee which preceded it, aeted promptly 
and generously in providing chapel tents for the army, 
voting- $5000 for tins purpose at one time. This secured 
ten chapels, for each of which the Brooklyn office also 
furnished a valuable library. 

The work at the navy yard, on the receiving-ships, 
and in behalf of the marines, continued to be one of 
great importance and valuable results. The following 
incident, representative of many that might be given, 
illustrates the method of the work in part, and its fruit. 
The agent at the navy yard in 1864, writes, "A lieu- 
tenant recently returned from one of our iron-clads, up 
the James river, called to see me, and requested another 
supply of reading-matter, having read with diligence 
and profit the supply we gave them. He said, 'I com- 
menced religions services on board, it being optional to 
attend or not, and one seaman attended. Now,' said he, 
'over one hundred attend each service. There is a great 
change .■inning the crew.' " 


Louisville, like Washington and St. Louis, was imme- 
diately affected, upon the outbreak of hostilities, by its 
position upon the border and the divided sentiments of 
its people. Its position also soon determined its conve- 
nience as a military depot for the troops operating in 
the departments of the Cumberland and the Ohjo. 
Although the hindrances were great, there were not 
wanting here, as in other places similarly situated, those 


who appreciated the necessity of Christian effort among 
the soldiers, and who attempted to supply it. The 
Young Men's Christian Association, early in 1862, ap- 
pointed an Army Committee, which engaged in the 
various kinds of service already so frequently alluded 
to in connection with like Committees elsewhere. The 
ladies, not a few of them among the most prominent 
and influential of the city, joined heartily in these 
labors. Through the Army Committee and other per- 
sons the Christian Commission made considerable dis- 
tributions. In May, 1803, a Branch Commission was 
formed, with J. Edward Hardy, Chairman; J. G. Bar- 
rett, 1 Treasurer; Isaac Bussed, Secretary ; — these officers 
remaining unchanged through the war. Something was 
done toward canvassing the city and State for the Com- 
mission, and organizing local committees, — with what 
material results the tables of receipts will show. Sup- 
plies for Nashville and beyond passed through Louis- 
ville, and its own needs made it a point for large distri- 
butions. There were not fewer than twenty hospitals 
in the city and vicinity, and the sick and wounded at 
times numbered over 10,000 men. Besides these, there 
were several extensive canips and barracks. Special 
diet kitchens, more fully noticed in another place, were 
established in a majority of the hospitals here, and were 
conducted with efficiency and the most beneficial results. 
The interest of the citizens in the Commission's work 
was pleasantly and generously shown, in addition to their 
general hearty co-operation, by their aid in providing, 

1 The first Treasurer was Thomas Quigley, Esq., — a well-known and highly 
esteemed citizen of Louisville. Upon his death, January 2, 18(54, Mr. Barrett 
was appointed. 



on more than one occasion, a Christinas dinner for the 
inmates of the hospitals. The relations of the Commis- 
sion to citizens, military authorities, and transportation 
Companies, were nowhere more satisfactory than in Louis- 

As incidental to their other labors, and by request of 
General Sherman, this Branch assisted in relieving the 
wants of the many refugees and deserters from the rebel 
army that gathered here. They were helped to employ-; 
men!, gathered into Sunday-schools, taught to read, and 
they had opportunities of hearing the gospel preached. 

In dune. 1865, General Sherman's army rendezvoused 
near the city, to he mustered out of service, which occu- 
pied over two months. This gave opportunity for an 
important work, and it was not neglected. Mr. Loyd's 
statement of these special labors will be read with inte- 
rest : — "Large shipments of stores were received from 
Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Pittsburg, and Phila- 
delphia. Purchases were also made in Louisville. The 
number of Delegates was inadequate to the work, yet the 
following brief summary, from dune 4 to August 10, will 
show that they were not idle : — 

Sermon- and addresses 170 

Person* prayed with L68 

Persons conversed with on reli- 
gion 3,424 

Tesl rote distributed 9,290 

Hvnm 1 ks distributed 7,168 

Religious papers distributed (1:2,090 
Pages of tracts distributed... 1,755,635 
Sheets of writing-paper dis- 
tributed 66,495 

Envelopes distributed 66, 195 

Letters written for soldiers... 273 

"In addition to the vegetables, fruits, and clothing re- 
ceived in boxes and barrels, $934 were expended iii the 
Louisville daily markets for hospital delicacies, during 
these two months." 


Although the work was greatly diminished in Louis- 
ville after the dispersion of General Sherman's troops, 
it did not wholly cease until the dose of the year. 

The location of a camp at this place, early in the war, 
at once occasioned the appointment of an Army Com- 
mittee by the Young Men's Christian Association. The 
meetings held among the soldiers, with distribution of 
reading-matter and religious conversation, were not only 
the means of great good to the men thus reached, but 
soon bore fruit also in the awakening of unusual reli- 
gious interest in the city. The work for the soldiers 
naturally increased as they left the camp for the army, 
and as the army itself became recognized as a held for 
evangelical effort, and the Committee became fully aux- 
iliary to the Christian Commission. In 18G4 a Branch 
Commission was established at Peoria, bui with scarcely 
a change in the membership or officers of the Committee. 
The officers were, William Reynolds and Theodore Hig- 
bce, respectively Chairman and Treasurer of the Young 
Men's Christian Association, and A. G. Tyng and G. H. 
Mcllvaine, respectively Chairman and Secretary of the 
Army Committee, — all prominent business men. The 
lniine field for the Peoria Branch was Central Illinois, 
and the army field was the Department of the Missis- 
sippi, — in co-operation with the auxiliaries at St. Louis, 
Chicago, Milwaukee, and Detroit. The home field was 
admirably canvassed, as the figures in the tables and 
some incidents given in the chapter on Contributions 
will show. Xo salaried agent was employed, the Com- 
mittee doing their own collecting, and making also 


frequent visits to the army to look after the interests of 
the Commission and to labor personally among the sol- 
diers. Rev. C. C. McCabe, a most efficient home agent, 
whose official relations were with the Central Commis- 
sion, assisted Peoria and other Western Branches in 
raising funds. 

In the latter part of 18G4, a.s already stated, the sta- 
tion at Cairo was taken in charge by the Peoria Com- 
mittee. From this point, besides the work done on the 
spot, they were able to reach the gunboats and transports 
on the Western rivers. Arrangements were made, 
through the ready co-operation of the authorities, by 
which a package of books and papers was sent semi- 
monthly to each of the fifty-nine vessels composing the 
Mississippi Squadron. 

There was often great distress among the multitude of 
furloughed, convalescent, and disabled soldiers who 
gathered at Cairo. Separated from their regiments, 
without money and without means of obtaining it, fur- 
nished only with transportation, they had frequently 
nothing upon which to subsist while travelling home- 
ward. Tlu' Peoria Committee did much to relieve these 
sufferers, by providing meal tickets 1 upon the principal 
eating houses along the railroad lines through the State. 
As the sick and wounded men arrived at Cairo they 
were visited by the agents of the Commission, and each 
man who had need was furnished with a sufficient iiiuii- 

1 These tickets were of colored card-board, in shape like a railroad conduc- 
tor's check. Opon one aide was printed, " United States Christian Commis- 
sion Meal Ticket, Good for one Moat at Station- on back of this .aril.'' 
Signed by tin Corresponding Secretary of tin- Peoria Branch. On tin- back 
was a li-t of the stations at which the ticket would be received, with the name 
of tin kei per of tin-- eating house. 


ber of these tickets to secure him three good meals per 
day until he could reach home. The eating houses sup- 
plied the tickets to the Commission at a reduced price 
(twenty-five cents each), received all that were presented, 
and forwarded them to Peoria for redemption at the end 
of each month. 

The reader does not require to he reminded that these 
simple manifestations of Christian sympathy and efforts 
to succor those who were periling all for the national 
cause, often touched the hearts of those upon whom they 
were bestowed. Many a new life began in the reception 
of some little courteous attention, wholly unlooked for, 
which required but a moment and a Christian smile, 
and an opportune word withal, that should direct the 
thoughts to Jesus Christ the Saviour. 


"Early in the history of the General Commission it 
was discovered that a large part of its work would have 
to be reached by means of the government ships leaving 
the port of New York. In no other way could it carry 
on its operations on the South- Atlantic coast, along the 
Gulf, and upon the lower Mississippi. To meet this 
necessity, it was deemed advisable to create a separate 
organization, to be located in the city of New York* 
which would be auxiliary to the parent Commission, in 
sympathy and co-operation, but to which a distinct field 
of labor would be assigned, and also a limited field from 
which to draw supplies. Accordingly, on the 8th of 
December, 1802, the New York Branch of the Christian 


Commission was formed." 1 The men who thus associated 
themselves in the work were among the most prominent 
in the city. William E. Dodge was chosen Chairman 
of the General Board; Frederick G. Eoster, Vice-Chair- 
man ; James M. Brown, Treasurer ; Rev. Russell S. Cook, 
Secretary. An Executive Committee of eight was ap- 
pointed, of which Mr. Foster was ex officio Chairman. 
In the latter part of April, 1863, Mr. Cook and Mr. 
Foster withdrew from their official positions, through the 
pressure of other duties. Nathan Bishop was chosen 
Chairman of the Executive Committee,' and also assumed 
the labor of conducting the correspondence, — attending 
''personally to every department of the work." The 
Committee's duties were numerous and arduous, often 
requiring daily and protracted sessions, hut the work 
was thoroughly systematized and divided among special 
committees, and was done with the promptness and 
fidelity to lie exj)ected from the men who had it in 
charge. In the spring of 1865, Mr. Brown, being about 
to visit Europe, resigned the office of Treasurer, and was 
succeeded by Morris K. Jesup. At the same time, Dr. 
Bishop's health failing under his constant labors, Rev. 
Dr. H. Dyer was appointed .Secretary. The rooms of 
the Commission were in the Bible House, No. 30. 

'"By an arrangement with the Central Commission, 
there was assigned to the New York Branch the follow- 
ing field of operations: 1. The vessels of war fitted out 
in the harbor of New York, with their transports and the 
squadrons receiving supplies, making nearly the whole 

1 A Memorial Record of the .V » fork Branch of the United States Christian 
' 'ommiasion. I torapiled under the direction of the Executive Committee. 1866. 
See p. 14. 


naval force of the country. 2. The forts, camps, naval 
and military hospitals in New York and vicinity. 3. 
The armies and military and naval hospitals along the 
South- Atlantic coast, at the mouth of the Chesapeake, 
in the sounds of North Carolina, the islands of South 
Carolina and Georgia, the mainland and islands of 
Florida and Alabama, and within the military depart- 
ment of the Gulf of Mexico. The aggregate number 
of sailors and soldiers embraced within these limits was 
estimated at about one-fourth of the war forces of the 
country, of whom not far from one-tenth were in hos- 

" The field, as at last defined, from which this Branch 
of the Commission was to obtain supplies of funds and 
stores, embraced the city of New York, the towns on 
the Hudson below Albany, Eastern New Jersey, and 
Connecticut. 1 .... 

"For the sake of greater efficiency, the general field 
was divided into distinct departments, — each department 
bearing a particular name. Over each department a 
suitable person was appointed, to act as agent. All the 
Delegates for a given department were under the super- 
vision of this agent, whose duty it was to assign them 
their particular work, and furnish them with such sup- 
plies as they might need. All the forts, hospitals, troops, 
and shipping within the department were to be provided 
for. This agent was in constant communication with the 
office in New York, receiving such supplies of stores 
and reading-matter as his department might require, and 
rendering monthly an account of all the work under his 

1 Memorial 'Record, p. 16. 


care r>v this arrangement the Committee always knew 
what was wanted and where it was wanted 

"The departments of labor may be numbered as fol- 
lows : — 

" 1. The forts, camps, and naval and military hospi- 
tals in New York, and in the neighborhoods and towns 
from fifteen to twenty miles from the city. Of these 
there were some twenty, embracing on an average from 
fifteen to twenty thousand men. 

"2. The ships of war, with their transports, leaving 
the navy-yard of Brooklyn. There were about five 
hundred and eighty ships, and thirty-four thousand sea- 
men. These constituted the larger part of the naval 
force of the United States. 

"3. The Department of Eastern Virginia, embracing 
Norfolk, Portsmouth, and the fleets coming to and de- 
parting from that port. The Rev. E. N. Crane was the 
agent, and had his headquarters at Norfolk. The num- 
ber of Delegates varied from six to twelve. This depart- 
ment was administered with great system and economy. 

"4. The Department of North Carolina, embracing 
all the territory within the Union lines South of Vir- 
ginia. The headquarters were at Newbern. The follow- 
ing persons acted as agents, — Rev. Jacob Best, Rev. 
John C. Taylor, Rev. A. S. Lovell, and Rev. Washing- 
ton Rodman. The number of Delegates varied from 
ten to eighteen. The labors of this department wen' 
most difficult and arduous. After the fall of Wilming- 
ton, and the approach of General Sherman'.- army, all 
the hospitals were crowded with the sick and wounded, 
and the Delegates were taxed to the utmost of their 


" 5. The Department of the South, embracing all the 
territory within the Union lines in South Carolina, 
Georgia, and Florida. Headquarters at Hilton Head. 
The agents were Rev. W. H. Taylor, Eev. Joseph Hen- 
son, and Rev. Dwight Spencer. Number of Delegates 
varied from ten to fifteen. The affairs of this depart- 
ment were conducted in a most satisfactory manner. 

" 6. The Department of the Gulf, including all points 
within the Union lines from Key West on the East to 
the Rio Grande on the West, the lower Mississippi as 
far North as Port Hudson, and also the Red River 
region as far as the Union forces held possession. The 
headquarters were at New Orleans. For a few months 
the Rev. J. F. Sutten acted as agent. He was succeeded 
by Dr. J. V. C. Smith, whose medical knowledge and 
eminent administrative abilities peculiarly fitted him for 
this most responsible position. For two years and a 
half he conducted (gratuitously) the affairs of his de- 
partment, not only to the entire satisfaction of the Com- 
mittee, but to the great comfort and benefit of the sol- 
diers and sailors who came within the limits of his field. 
He was most ably seconded by a corps of twenty or more 
Delegates, some of whom continued in the service for 
two years or more." 1 

The Committee make special mention of the valuable 
services rendered by Rev. Geo. J. Mingins and Dr. 
Oliver Bronson. Mr. Mingins acted as General Agent, 
in awakening the public and raising funds. Familiar 
with the work from its beginning, in the first company 
of Delegates to the army and frequently renewing his 
experience by subsequent visits, and an effective speaker, 

1 Memorial Record, pp. 31-33. 


he was of signal service in securing the sympathy and 
aid of the many communities he addressed. Dr. Bron- 
sod was Chairman of the Committee of Publications. 
" Everything in this department came under his personal 
supervision and care. Besides carefully selecting from 
the issues of the different societies and of the various 
publishing houses, he had several small books and tracts 
prepared with special application to the men in service." 

Some peculiarities in their field of operations need to 
be considered, in order rightly to estimate the work done 
by the New York Committee as compared with other 
auxiliaries. Many of their stations were distant, and 
the passage to them was tedious and expensive. They 
were dependent upon the government naval transports 
for the carriage of Delegates and stores, and although 
government officials were uniformly courteous and ac- 
commodating, yet the exigencies of the service often 
rendered the facilities at command wholly inadequate, 
and compelled the postponement of the desire of a 
benevolent society to the more urgent demands of war. 
The need was less in the navy than in the army for 
extra sanitary supplies. For this and other reasons, 
and especially influenced by the consideration that the 
entire blockading squadron was without a chaplain, the 
Committee gave their chief attention to the sending out 
of Delegates and the distribution of reading-matter. 

Their position also required a departure from the 
general custom of the Commission in the period of ser- 
vice and compensation of Delegates. The six weeks' 
rule was wholly inapplicable, where the slut ions were so 
distant, and hence six months were fixed by the Xew 
York Committee as the least time for which it was ex- 



pedient to employ a Delegate. ' No special provision was 
made for subsisting the Delegates, as was done at the 
establishments of the Commission among the land forces, 
but a small compensation was allowed, sufficient merely 
for personal expenses. It will therefore be noticed in 
the tables that the New York office shows an apparent 
disproportionate outlay for Delegates' expenses. The 
disproportion, however, is apparent only and not real. 
The New York Delegates served an average period of 
four months and a half each, — the average being con- 
siderably reduced by the fact that a number of clergymen 
and others visited the nearer armies at various times, 
remaining only a few days or weeks, that they might be 
able to report to the public the operations and necessities 
of the Commission. The average term served by the 
whole body of Delegates, omitting those sent out by the 
New York Committee, is a fraction less than thirty-five 
days, or five weeks. The New York Delegate force 
should therefore, in equity, be represented by (J73, instead 
of the number given in the tables, 177, — inasmuch as 
each man served three and a half times as many days 
as those sent from the other offices. With this as a 
basis, if the entire sum of field expenses (omitting only 
that which pertains to the support of diet kitchens) be 
apportioned to each Delegate and permanent agent, it 
will be seen that the expenses averaged a few dollars 
more per man for the New York office than for the Com- 
mission as a whole. The comparison is of interest 
mainly as illustrating the two methods of working, — the 
one engaging men for a short time, giving no compensa- 
tion, paying only actual expenses, and subsisting them 
on the field at quarters specially provided ; the other 


engaging the men for a much longer time, paying them 
a small compensation, and allowing them to provide for 
themselves. It seems that on the score of economy there 
is little to choose; the more permanent men doubtless 

became better trained to their work and therefore 1 •<■ 

efficient; while those whose periods of service were 
shorter contributed more to keep up an active sympathy 
between the home and the army, and thus supply the 
constant and fresh information that was needed to elicit 
means requisite for the great work. Each method had 
some advantages that the other had not, and each was 
better suited to the circumstances under which it was 
employed, while it was well that both could he so used 
as to product 1 such abundant and good fruit. 

The operations of the New York Committee lay, for 
the most part, within a field less under the public eye 
than were the vast land forces East and AVest. The 
plea for help was therefore not so self-evident and irre- 
sistible as for "battle-field work," or for the camps and 
hospitals near at hand, whose occupants were in daily 
communication with their homes. These considerations 
seemed at times to hinder the Committee from securing 
their share of the public attention and resources. Besides 
this, their city was the central scat of other and power- 
ful organizations which were doing what at least appeared 
to he a similar work, and for which there was properly 
given a generous assistance. But still they were aide to 
report the collection of a. large sum ($307,649.38-), and 
were never really embarrassed for want of funds. The 
members of the Committee, as was indeed the case gene- 
rally with all the committees, were among the largesi 
contributors. New York was second only to Boston in 


the amount of her cash receipts, and in her cash expen- 
ditures she was, as would be expected from the survey 
of her field, first among the auxiliaries. 

It was fitting that the Committee should close their 
record with this minute: — 

Before this Committee finally adjourn, they desire to return their 
sincere thanks to all who by their contributions of money, stores, 
personal efforts, and their prayers, have enabled the Commission to 
accomplish its work of mercy in the army and the navy of the United 

They desire, also, as their closing act, to express and place on 
record their deep sense of gratitude to Almighty God, for the mani- 
fold tokens of his love and favor toward the Commission, in the ser- 
vices in which it has been engaged. And especially would they 
reverently acknowledge his great goodness in staying the desolations 
of war, in restoring peace to our land, and in preserving and strength- 
ening our national Government. From him alone these blessings 
have come, and to his great name, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
would we ascribe all the honor and glory of this great salvation. 

Religious work among the soldiers began in the State 
of Maine with the outbreak of the war. In April, 1861, 
Messrs. Charles Douglass and G. H. Palmer procured 
contributions from the churches in Bath, and furnished 
Testaments to every member of two companies of the 
Third Maine Regiment. Other communities were early 
interested. As the work of the Christian Commission 
became known, active auxiliary committees were formed 
in Bangor, Bath, and Portland. These were natural 
centres for the benefactions of the surrounding com- 
munities. Ultimately the State was thoroughly organ- 
ized, each of the above committees undertaking the 
canvass of five counties. Rev. S. L. Bowler did good 


service as Stale Agent. Some of the returns from the 
several committees are given in the tables, but much 
was sent from the numerous local aid societies directly 
to the agency in Boston, to which Maine was more im- 
mediately auxiliary. A full exhibit for the State cannot 
therefore be separately given. The Bath Committee 
estimate the total receipts on their field at $24,987.57, 
and the estimates for Bangor and Portland should pro- 
bably be correspondingly increased. 


The Troy Branch of the Christian Commission was 
formed in January, 1863, with Harvey J. King as 
Chairman, and Chas. P. Hartt as Secretary and Trea- 
surer. Their home field was limited. Besides working 
among the soldiers in their own city, they forwarded 
several thousands of dollars to the Central Office. 


Although Cincinnati had from the beo-innino- contri- 
buted in various ways to the welfare of the army, the 
work of the Christian Commission was not organized 
there until the spring of 1863. Rev. B. W. Chidlaw, 
well known as a Sunday-school missionary, was mainly 
instrumental in forming the first committee. He had 
previously been Chaplain of the Thirty-ninth Ohio 
Regiment, and had also visited the forces in the South- 
west as the Agent of the Sanitary Commission, besides 
laboring in the local camps and hospitals. A public 
meeting was held early in April, 1863, at which Major- 
General Burnside, then Commander of the Department, 
made an effective address, commending the Christian 

342 ANNALS orfrHE christian commission. 

Commission to public favor. A Committee was at once 
organized, with L. C. Hopkins as President; W. T. 
Perkins, Treasurer; and Rev. B. W. Chidlaw, Secretary. 
The work was new, other organizations were in successful 
operation, and the Commission was compelled to win for 
itself position and influence. In July of the same year 
the Committee was re-organized, and A. E. Chamberlain 
became President. A little later Eev. J. P. Marlay was 
chosen Secretary, Mr. Chidlaw continuing to give valu- 
able assistance as General Agent. Mr. Chamberlain 
furnished rooms for the Commission's business in bis 
own establishment, and gave himself almost wholly to 
its interests. In the following summer Mr. Perkins 
removed from the city, and the finances of the Committee 
were managed by the executive officers, without form- 
ally appointing a treasurer. 

The Cincinnati Branch became the base office for 
the Commission's work in the military departments 
of the Ohio and the Cumberland, being aided in this 
field by the agencies at Pittsburg, Indianapolis, and 

The home district of this auxiliary was well culti- 
vated, as the fruits show. Messrs. Chamberlain, Marlay, 
and Chidlaw, assisted by others of the Committee, espe- 
ciallv by Hon. Bellamy Storer, held frequent public 
meetings in the larger towns and villages. They were 
greatly aided, as was everywhere the case, by those who 
had been Delegates to the army, and by the letters and 
visits of the soldiers. Numerous Ladies' Aid Societies, — 
"scores and hundreds," the Report says, — became tribu- 
tary, and few things in tbe history of benevolence are 
more remarkable than the rapidity with which the 


resources of the Cincinnati Branch multiplied. This is 
particularly striking i'i the returns of donated stores. 
These increased in 1864 more than twelve-fold over 
those of L863, and in the few months during which the 

n . i I jits continued in 1865 they were much greater than 
at any other office, excepting Pittsburg and not except- 
ing Philadelphia. 

There was at first some hesitation by the Committei 

at Cincinnati, as elsewhere, to make the Christian Com- 
mission entirely independent and untrammeled in its 
operations, with complete control over its stores and 
other appliances. But the necessity for this was soon 
made apparent, and it was seen that the most efficient 
co-operation with others, as well as the vigor and use- 
fulness of its own efforts, required entire freedom of 
action. This necessity was yielded to as soon as recog- 
nized, and the splendid results arc partially indicated in 
the statistical tallies. The gratuitous services of the 
Committee, with the facilities afforded by Government, 
and the favors of transportation companies, kept the 
expenses at a very low figure. 

Cincinnati was the centre of a local work of great 
importance, to which the Committee gave faithful atten- 
tion. Not to particularise other places, Camp Dennison 
was itself a considerable village of neat and well-occupied 
wooden barracks, where every facility was afforded to 
the ( Jommission by the commanding officer. The chapel 
was the seat of almost continuous religious interest, and 
was one of the many places throughout the army where 
the Spirit of Cod signalized his gracious power to renew 
and sanctify the hearts of men. 

The Cincinnati Branch first moved in the matter of 


establishing special diet kitchens in the army hospitals, 1 
upon the plan of Mrs. Wittenmyer. In addition to 
those established in the Army of the Cumberland, there 
was a large and very serviceable kitchen, under the 
immediate supervision of the Committee, at Camp 
Dennison. It was in charge of Mrs. Lucy H. Burrowes, 
with several lady assistants. By their gentle ministry 
not only were many valuable lives saved and much 
bodily comfort secured, through a proper diet properly 
prepared for the sick and convalescent, but there were 
also many precious souls won to the Saviour. 

The Cincinnati Committee sent into the army several 
wooden chapels of unique and convenient pattern. They 
were wholly prepared by the manufacturer in the city, 
packed in suitable shape for shipment, and readily put 
together when they reached their destination. For 
many locations they were much superior to tents. For 
a chapel, measuring 20 feet by 60, and provided with 
seats, the cost was $800. This item is from the Com- 
mittee's rej^ort for 1804: — 

One of the most important features of our work has been the dis- 
tribution of stationer}'. During the past year about two thousand 
reams of paper, with three hundred thousand envelopes, have been 
furnished to the soldiers from this office. During the presence of 
Hood's army before Nashville, our agents at that point distributed 
writing paper among the soldiers of General Thomas at the rate of 
85,000 sheets per day. 

A final public meeting was held, at which a eompre- 

1 In the spring of 1864, twenty cows were bought by this Branch for the 
( lumberland Hospital at Nashville. Dayton, Ohio, furnished the purchase 
money, the surgeon in charge at the hospital provided a detail of soldiers from 
the Invalid Corps to care for the cows, and so the 2,400 sick and wounded men 
had the luxury of fresh milk every day. 


hensive report of the entire work was given, in Septem- 
ber, 1SI'>.">, at which time also the office was closed. 1 If 
the record opened in weakness it closed in power, and 
many hearts were filled with gratitude to God for the 
blessed privilege of doing something toward preserv- 
ing and comforting the men who saved the nation. 


"The Arm;/ Committee of Western Pennsylvania was 
organized Ajn'il 6th, 1863. Prior to that time, the only 
association which had been regularly and systematically 
forwarding hospital stores to the army was the Pitts- 
burg Subsistence Committee, appointed by the citizens 
of Pittsburg at a meeting held in August, 1861. Its 
proper duty was the providing of refreshments for all 
regiments or companies passing through the city to or 
from the seat of war. After the reception from several 
hospitals of pressing appeals for stores, the Committee 
opened depots for receiving articles for the sick and 
wounded soldiers, and sent or appointed agents at various 
points to attend to the proper distribution of the goods 
donated. Depending entirely on the free-will offerings 
of the people, the contributions poured in so rapidly and 
continuously that goods, amounting in value to sixty 
thousand dollars, were forwarded and distributed by the 
Subsistence Committee between January, 1862, and 
April, 1863. 

"After a meeting held by Mr. George H. Stuart and 
others, the Subsistence Committee resolved to transfer 
its store-room and stores on hand to the United States 

1 Some aid was given by the Committee to the supplementary operations of 

the Commission among the troops which were moved South ami West. 


Christian Commission, and, while not neglecting its 
legitimate work of feeding the soldiers, to unite heartily 
with the national organization in its great work. 

"At a meeting of ministers and members of the vari- 
ous denominations, held in the Second Presbyterian 
Church, April 6, 1863, the Army Committee of Western 
Pennsylvania was organized, and the following officers 
elected:- — President, Rev. Herrick Johnson; Chairman 
of Executive Committee, Hon. Robert McKnight; Sec- 
retary, Robert C. Totten; Treasurer, Joseph Albree; 
Receiver, William P. Weyman. 

"The first public meeting was held on the evening of 
April 16, 1863, at which time the new Committee began 
to work in connection with the United States Christian 
Commission." 1 

The members of the Committee, as it finally stood, 
represented various parts of the home field. Some slight 
changes were made among the officers in 1864, — William 
Frew becoming Treasurer, and Mr. Albree taking the 
title of Field Secretary. 

The work of the Subsistence Committee 2 had been so 

1 Second Annual Report of the Christian Commission, pp. 192, 193. 

- This Subsistence Committee was composed of about forty active members, 
the majority being ladies. The duty they took upon themselves was to see 
that no soldier passed through Pittsburg, either to or from the army, by day or 
night, without a comfortable meal of victuals. They were also prepared to 
furnish lodgings for those that needed, and medicine and nursing for the sick. 
Those who know the hours at which the heavy passenger trains arrive upon 
the railroads centring in Pittsburg, will readily understand that the night work 
of this Committee was even more laborious than the work by day. There was 
a promptness, neatness, liberality, and withal a Christian cheerfulness, in their 
operations, from beginning to end, that won golden opinions from the soldiers, 
and are worthy of greater praise and a larger record than can here be given 
them. Besides all else that they did, this Committee fed more than /re hun- 
dred thousand soldiers on their passage through the city. 


admirably done, and it had gained so strong a hold upon 
the confidence of the community, that its alliance with 
the Christian Commission at once secured to the latter a 
corresponding position and influence. A band of men 
and women had been trained to a just appreciation of 
the work, and to skill in performing it. Messrs. Albree 
and Weyman were especially active, and to them belongs 
no small portion of the credit for the noble record which 
their Branch presents. Their home held, including 
Western Pennsylvania, Eastern ( )hio, and Western Vir- 
ginia, was well canvassed, and local committees organized 
in every direction. The press and the transportation 
companies freely furnished their great facilities, which 
were vigorously and systematically used. Various eccle- 
siastical bodies, as conferences and presbyteries, engaged 
to keep each a Delegate constantly in the army, — the 
several ministers going in turn, and also tilling the pul- 
pits of those who were absent upon this errand. 

The Pittsburg Branch was associated with those aux- 
iliaries which undertook the more immediate care of the 
armies that had their principal depot at Nashville. 
Help had been sent there by the Subsistence Committee 
before the Christian Commission was established in the 
West, and now their successors, the Army Committee, 
were prominent in maintaining and enlarging the work, 
while finding also means and men to assist in supply- 
ing the armies in the East. 

The statistical tables tell their own story with respect 
to the operations of this Committee. While the cash 
receipts ($158,334.37) rank Pittsburg below Boston and 
New York, the value of her stores was sufficient 
C^' '7' ',< '•< > i.Si)) to make the total cash value of all her 


receipts ($837,999.26) in excess of the returns of any 
other auxiliary. The annual increase in the amount of 
stores received was remarkable, — being about five-fold 
(remembering that only four or five months should be 
reckoned for the year 1865). The total cash value of 
stores was only a little less than of those sent to the 
Central Office (during the last year it was more than 
three times as great), and was nearly one-fourth of all 
that were received by the Commission and its auxiliaries 
throughout the country. It must also be stated that no 
salaries were paid by the Committee, and that the ex- 
penses for collecting and forwarding their immense 
receipts were $3,787.35, — less than one-half of one per 
cent on the gross amount. Such an exhibit would be 
weakened by comment or praise. 


The Michigan Branch of the Christian Commission 
was organized at a public meeting held in Detroit, June 
15, 1863. Previous to that the benefactions of the State 
for the soldiers had reached the army through other 
channels. For a year or more a valuable work had been 
going forward in the hospitals of Detroit, under the 
management of Mrs. Jane W. Brent, who continued her 
labors until the close of the war. After a few changes 
in the Detroit Committee, the officers stood as follows: — 
E. C. Walker, Chairman ; H. P. Baldwin, Treasurer ; 
Chas. F. Clark, Secretary; Bev. G. Taylor, State Agent; 
Francis Baymond received and forwarded the supplies. 
The tables indicate with sufficient clearness what was 
accomplished by this Committee. 

December 7, 1863, a Ladies' Christian Commission 


was formed in Detroit, with Mrs. Brent as President, 
giving themselves to local work, and doing great good. 
Their expenditures, amounting to many thousands of 
dollars, are not included in the exhibits of the Commis- 

The Minnesota, Branch of the Christian Commission 
was constituted at St. Paul, on the evening of November 
20, 1863, — the Young Men's Christian Association re- 
solving itself into an Army Committee for that purpose. 
The officers were, — President, Geo. W. Prescott; Vice- 
President, Edward Eggleston ; Treasurer, I). D. Mer- 
rill; Corresponding Secretary, H. M. Knox; Recording- 
Secretary, H. K. Taylor; Depositary, W. S. Potts. 
There were many difficulties and embarrassments sur- 
rounding the Committee, but they did what they could. 
Their local needs, with the frontier military posts 
throughout the State, demanded most of their attention, 
hut they were able to contribute somewhat also to the 
general work. 

The Indiana Branch of /he Christian Can mission was 
organized at Indianapolis, the last week in November, 
1863, and began its work on the 1st of December. Its 
officers were, — G. \Y. Clippinger, President; Jas. M. 
Pay, Treasurer ; L. H. Croll, Recording Secretary; Chas. 
N. Todd, Corresponding Secretary and General Agent. 
There was from the beginning a heavy local work, the 
city being the State military depot, and continually like 
" one great encampment." By all the methods of the 
Commission, the Indianapolis (' anmittee co-operated 


with the military authorities and the chaplains in secur- 
ing religious advantages, reading-matter, hospital com- 
forts, etc., for their men. Permanent Delegates were 
employed in these labors. 

This Committee furnished assistance to other military 
posts in the State, and aided in carrying forward the 
work in the Army of the Cumberland. It had a num- 
ber of auxiliary aid societies in different parts of the 
State. Its office was closed July 20, 1865. The statis- 
tical tables show a creditable record, and that the influ- 
ence and resources of the Committee were steadily on the 

A Convention of representatives from all the Western 
Branches was held in Indianapolis in November, 1804. 
Besides being a delightful opportunity for earnest Chris- 
tian men to renew or to make each other's acquaintance, 
the meeting had a happy influence in consolidating, 
strengthening, and enlarging the operations of the Com- 


A Branch of the Christian Commission was organized 
in Albany, New York, the 1st of April, 1864. Its offi- 
cers were, — Thos. \V. Olcott, President; John F. Bath- 
bone, Vice-President ; Levi Dedrick, Secretary ; AVm. 
McElroy, Treasurer. Its active operations closed with 
July, 1865, — thus bringing its history with-in about 
sixteen months. During this time, by labors among 
the soldiers in Albany and by contributions for the 
general work in the army, this Branch did good service. 
There was an efficient Ladies' Commission, through which 
a good part of the work was done. 


The Connecticut Branch of the Chris/inn Commission 
was organized, with headquarters at Hartford, April 17, 
1804. Governor Wm. A. Buckingham was Chairman, 
and Rev. H. Powers, who was also connected with the 
work in Western Massachusetts, was Corresponding Sec- 
retary. Somewhal later an auxiliary was formed at New 
Haven, the two agencies purposing to divide the State 
between them. The returns in the tables are given sepa- 
rately for the two offices. These figures, however, do 
not represent nearly all that was done for the Commis- 
sion in the State, for after the organization of the Con- 
necticut Branch, as well as before, contributions were 
sent from various communities to the offices in Boston, 
New York, and Philadelphia. Considerable was done 
toward a thorough canvass of the State, with good re- 
sults, and the constant increase of interest and aid for 
the Commission's work was in every way encouraging. 


A Branch of the Christian Commission was organized 
in Cleveland, Ohio, May 15, 1804. The officers were. — 
Stillman Witt, President; Joseph Perkins, Vice-Presi- 
dent : L. F. Mellen, Secretary ; S. II. Mather, Treasurer; 

George Mygatt, Receiver. The home field was small, 
scarcely extending beyond the "Western Reserve," but 
gave encouraging results for the brief time that it was 
cultivated. Among the Delegates were "a majority of 
the leading ministers of Cleveland and vicinity, — >ix 
pastors of the city having been absent at one time in the 
work, — and with them many prominent Christian citi- 


zens, officers of the churches, and physicians and sur- 
geons of experience and distinction." Among the stores 
forwarded to the army in 1864, mention is made of 
"three tons of grapes," — which, with their fine aroma 
of Christian thoughtfulness, helped to comfort many a 
weary sufferer. 


The Wisconsin Branch of the Christian Commission 
was organized in October, 1864, by appointment from 
the Central Office. The Committee was composed of 
men from the several Christian denominations, and to 
some extent from different parts of the State. The 
headquarters, with a majority of the Committee, were at 
Milwaukee. The officers were as follows: — Walter S. 
Carter, Chairman ; John A. Dutcher, Treasurer ; D. W. 
Perkins, Secretary. For the few months that remained, 
before the Commission ceased active operations, the Mil- 
waukee Committee pushed their work vigorously, as their 
figures in the statistical tables abundantly show. 


The propriety and expediency of sending an agent of 
the Christian Commission to the Pacific Coast received 
the attention of the Executive Committee as early as the 
autumn of 1862. Nothing was done, however, until a 
year afterward. In October, 1863, the Committee re- 
quested Mr. Stuart and Kev. Geo. J. Mingins to under- 
take the proposed agency. Other duties prevented the 
fulfilment of this request. Six months more passed. 
In April, 1864, Kev. Dr. Patterson and Mr. Mingins 
accepted the invitation of the Committee, and sailed for 


San Francisco, 1 — the former leaving New York on the 
4th of that month, and the latter on the 13th. Their 
arrival seemed to be at an unfavorable time. The Chris- 
tian Commission had received little or no attention upon 
the Pacific Coast, and was almost unknown there, while 
the abounding liberality of the people was seeking the 
army through other channels. The country was suffer- 
in- from severe drought, which had brought disaster 
upon the agricultural and mining interests and sent down 
the price of stocks. It was by no means certain that the 
distinctively religious feature of the Commission's work 
would not exclude it from the favorable notice of all 
except the membership of the evangelical churches, and 
even they might possibly doubt the necessity of trans- 
ferring their benefactions from other established organi- 
zations to a new one. But a hearing was gained, the 
value of the work was appreciated, and it was readily 
acknowledged that what had so signally met the obvious 
needs of the army must be sustained. Prominent citi- 
zens, pastors of the churches, and the press, assisted the 
agents in getting the attention of the public, through 
general meetings and more private conferences, and 
before the close of May the Pacific Christ inn Com/nds? 
si 1 1 n was organized. The officers were, — J. B. Roberts, 
President; P. Sather, Treasurer; Rev. E. Thomas, Sec- 
retary; and the office was at '11 Montgomery Street, San 

I\I is. Colonel S. M. Bowman went to California, upon 

1 Through the courtesy of David Hoadley, Esq., President of the Panama 
Railroad Company, and of the other parties interested, all the Commission's 
agents to the Pacific Const were favored with free passage across the Isthmus, 
and from Panama to San Francisco. 


a business errand, in the same ship that carried Dr. Pat- 
terson. Greatly interested in the work of the Christian 
Commission (being also the sister of its General Secre- 
tary), and well-known in San Francisco, where she had 
formerly resided, she gave the influence of her position and 
acquaintance to the new agency upon the Pacific Coast. 
Early in June the Ladies' Christian Commission of the 
Pacific was formed, to co-operate with the Committee of 
gentlemen, and Mrs. Bowman was chosen President. A 
Ladies' Fair was soon projected, designed to unite the 
friends in the city in a special effort for the Commission. 
It was held during the first fortnight in September, 
everything objectionable was rigorously excluded from 
it< management, and the enterprise proved a great suc- 
cess. By it over $50,000 "were added to the Commis- 
sion's treasury. On the return of Mrs. Bowman, in the 
latter part of September, Mrs. Mary E. Keeney (wife of 
U. S. A. Medical Director at San Francisco) was chosen 
President of the Ladies" Commission. The work was 
extended to other towns and communities on the coast, 
sixteen auxiliaries were constituted, and monthly con- 
tributions were forwarded to the San Francisco office. 
This organization of ladies was in existence just one year, 
and it ceased with their first anniversary, June 7, 1S65. 
The total amount of money forwarded by it to the cen- 
tral treasury was $70,113. A few boxes of choice stores 
were also sent. A pleasant feature in the work of the 
ladies was the formation of a Youth's Christian Commis- 
sion, with a handsome certificate and moderate member- 
ship fee. 

Rev. Dr. Patterson returned to the East in September, 
L864, and Mr. Mingins at the close of the year. Eev. 


C. P. Lyford and wife went oul in October,and returned 

in the latter part of the following April. Rev. H. 1). 
Lathrop went out in December, and remained until the 
work ceased in June, L865. These gentlemen visited 
the principal cities and towns in California, Oregon, 
Nevada, and Washington Territory. They were every- 
where welcomed. Auxiliary Committees were organized, 
and generous contributions forwarded, either directly to 
the Central Office or through the San Francisco agency. 
The Pacific Coast was also represented in the army by 
Delegates from California and Oregon. Rev. Mr. Ris- 
ing, of Virginia City, Nevada, before removing there, 
had been one of the very first volunteer laborers in the 
army, and continued throughout an efficient friend of 
the Commission. The contributions from the Pacific 
Coast reached the sum of $175,613.19. 


The Central New York Branch of the Christian Com- 
mission, embracing eleven counties, with headquarters 
at Utica, was organized November 15,1864. Hon. Win. 
J. Bacon was President : a Vice- President in each of the 
counties of the home field ; Roht. S. Williams. Treasurer; 
Rev. D. \V. Bristol, d.d., Secretary and Agent; Rev. P. 
H. Fowler, d. d., Chairman of the Executive Committee. 
The close of the war confined the operations of this 
Branch to a few months, but during that time a good 
work was done. 

Besides the auxiliaries above named there were also 
Branch Commissions in Providence, Rhode Island; 
Springfield, Massachusetts : Newark, New Jersey ; liar- 


risburg, Pennsylvania ; Wheeling, West Virginia ; To- 
ledo, Ohio ; and perhaps in other places, — reporting 
either to the Central Office or to some more prominent 

The foregoing enumeration of Branches, each of which 
was the centre of numerous local societies of various 
names, will show the method of home organization by 
which the Commission sought to maintain the public 
interest in its work, and to secure the necessary resources. 
One feature of this home organization, however, remains 
for more particular notice, and that is 


Mention has already been made of the operations of 
several Ladies' Christian Commissions, as at Buffalo, 
Detroit, San Francisco, etc. And everywhere, whether 
distinctly named or not, the ladies were the most numer- 
ous and successful workers in providing means for the 
Commission. In May, 1804, it was proposed to bring- 
out into greater prominence the agency of the loyal 
women of the country, as connected with this Christian 
work. This was thought to be due to the women them- 
selves, in recognition of their activity, and it was believed 
that it would also greatly increase the Commission's re- 
sources. A movement was therefore begun in Philadel- 
phia, designed to be national, looking to the establish- 
ment of a Ladies' Christian Commission in every com- 
munity throughout the loyal States. These Commis- 
sions were to be organized, either by establishing one in 
each church, or by forming a union society for all the 
churches in the same neighborhood, as might seem most 
desirable in the several localities. It was supposed that 


the smaller towns and villages might prefer union socie- 
ties, one for each place, while the cities would find it 
more convenient to organize in each congregation, with 
perhaps a central hoard for mutual conference and assist- 
ance. The Ladies' Commissions were to be directly 
auxiliary to the General Commission, either through the 
Central Office or the nearest Branch. Membership in 
the ladies' societies was to be either associate or active. 
Associate membership might include all of either sex 
and every age who should pay into the treasury one 
dollar annually; active membership would include the 
ladies who gave also of their time and service in collect- 
ing and preparing clothing and stores for the soldiers. 
In some cases honorary and life memberships were added. 
The fees for membership were to be paid entire into the 
treasury of the Commission, and to be called the "Mem- 
bership Fund of the Ladies' Christian Commission." 
Whatever sum might be requisite for the purchase of 
materials and other expenses was to be raised in addi- 
tion to the membership i'vi.'s. If these second collections 
should be more than sufficient for the current expendi- 
tures, they were to he passed into the treasury as a "Do- 
nation Fund." Such was the plan. Rev. R. J. Parvin, 
of Philadelphia, became Chairman of this department 
of the general work, and Mrs. W. G. Crowell, Secretary, 
under the direction of a special committee from the 
Central Executive Committee. Some time was neces- 
sarily consumed in maturing the organization, and in 
a few months it was happily rendered' unnecessary by 
the close of the war. What was actually accomplished 
may he seen in the following 




It was not until the third year of the war that the idea of forming 
Ladies' Christian Commissions was carried out, so as to assume a 
tangible form or produce any practical results. Much time was 
necessarily consumed in inaugurating a movement which was to em- 
brace in its operations all the loyal territory of the country, and 
consequently the work was arrested almost in its infancy by the 
glorious advent of Peace. Much good, however, was done through 
the instrumentality of this minor agency, even during its short life. 

There were, at the time of the organization of Ladies' Christian 
Commissions, very many societies formed among the loyal women of 
the land, intended to accomplish objects altogether in harmony with 
the work of the parent society, the results of which were seen and felt 
on many battle-fields from the commencement of the rebellion. The 
majority of these subsequently assumed the name of Ladies' Chris- 
tian Commissions, and continued their labors as such. It has not 
been possible to secure a complete record of each one of these organi- 
zations, and from many others of such societies, sending money and 
goods to the parent society, we have received no official records what- 
ever; but enough is known of their efficiency, daring the short period 
of their labors, to make it certain that they would have proved valu- 
able auxiliaries in administering substantial aid and comfort to the 

A record, embracing the name of the society, the date of its organi- 
zation, a list of its officers, and the amount of cither money or goods 
contributed to the parent society, has been received from two hundred 
and sixty-six of these auxiliaries. About eighty of these were in the 
city of Philadelphia, representing churches of all the evangelical 
denominations. These contributed during the year, in money, some 
fifteen thousand dollars. The whole number whose records appear 
on our books (266) were located in seventeen different States of the 
Union, and the aggregate of their receipts, as reported to the Com- 
mission, amounted to nearly two hundred thousand dollars. These 
figures can by no means convey an adequate idea of the amount of 
self-denying labor performed by these societies, or the results of such 
labor. They cannot be estimated. Neither are they complete a> 

a d x i li a b i i:s. — ladies' commissions. : ')">'. » 

regards the amount contributed, for the reason that a very large 
amount of stores and boxes of clothing, prepared by ladies' societies, 
were forwarded to the Commission, whose valuation could not be 
obtained. This is particularly true in regard to country localities, 
especially in the West and North, where stores could be much more 
easily obtained than money, and the figures in such cases are not just 
eriterions of the loyalty or liberality of such neighborhoods. 

Rev. W. E. Boardman (former Secretary of the United States 
Christian Commission) rendered efficient service in the organization 
and early history of our Ladies' Christian Commissions. Rev. Geo. 
J. Mingins was associated with this movement on the Pacific coast. 
And the ladies of California and Oregon, though so far removed from 
the fields of deadly conflict, were behind none in their labors and 
gifts for the soldiers' comfort. 

The Lord has brought our work, as a Commission, for the welfare 
of soldiers and sailors, to an end. For whatever of good has been 
accomplished to His name be all the praise. 

Robert J. Parvix, Chairman. 
Mrs. \V. G. Crowell, Secretary. 


[YEAR 1862.] 

The first deputation of regularly commissioned Dele- 
gates of the United States Christian Commission left the 
Central Office, at Philadelphia, for the Army of the 
Potomac, on the 14th of -May. 1862. They reported to 
the -Medical Director at Fortress Monroe the following 
day, and were by hint assigned to duty, — three of the 
seven on board a hospital transport, the others in the 
hospitals at Hampton. From this date there was no day, 
until the final disbandment of the armies, in 1865, when 
the Commission was without representatives in the hos- 
pitals and camps of the Army of the Potomac. 

In describing the operations of the Commission during 
these eventful years, it is manifestly impossible to detail 
the experiences and labors of each Delegate, and yet by 
this course alone could the work be seen in all its magni- 
tude and importance. Something of its extent and value 
may be learned, however, from a sketch of the organiza- 
tion as it was maintained from year to year, the constant 
object of which was to give the widest possible scope to 
the influence of the individual Delegate. The general 

1 This chapter was prepared by Mr. John A. Cole, General Field Agent of 
the Commission in the Armies operating against Richmond. 

AKMY OF THE POTOMAC. — L862. :')C>1 

character of the service rendered by Delegates remained 
the same throughout the war, the work performed by 
the last delegations differing in no essential respect from 
that of the first, except as they had increased facilities 
and the results of past experience. 

During the year 1862 no permanent field organization 
was attempted by the Commission. The Delegates, 
many of whom enlisted tin- only one, two, or three weeks' 
service, were left, after receiving general instructions at 
the Central Office, entirely to their own discretion in 
determining the place and character of their labors. 
Passes, with free transportation within army lines, were 
usually granted to Delegates upon the presentation of 
their credentials, though delays would sometimes occur, 
particularly when a battle was pending. The boxes oi 
stores with which they were at first provided contained 
an assortment of clothing, preserves, wines, crackers, 
bandages, and rags, all packed together just as they came 
from the Soldiers' Aid Societies of the North. Old 
magazines, files of religious papers, and a few packages 
of tracts and Testaments, made up their stock of reading- 

Somi after the first Delegates had begun their work 
in the hospitals at Hampton others came to their assist- 
ance. A tew went forward to Yorktown, where they 
found abundant need of their labors. Here tiny ob- 
tained the use of a Government tent, and, employing a 
"contraband" for cook, established themselves in what 
may properly he considered as the firsl "Station" of the 
Commission. Another delegation went to White House 
and tu Savage"- Station, going thence to Harrison's Land- 
ing, when the army crossed the Peninsula, where they 



worked night and day among the thousands of wounded 
and exhausted men. Forty-six Delegates in all labored 
among the soldiers during the campaign on the Penin- 
sula, — some of them remaining in the field hut a few 
days, others working for months or until its close. The 
work accomplished by these early Delegates, although 
by no means so extensive as that subsequently done, was 
very valuable. Perhaps never during the war was there 
creator need of Christian ministrations than on this 
disastrous campaign in the poisonous swamps of the 

Profiting by the experience gained, careful prepara- 
tions were made at the Central Office in anticipation of 
coming battles; books were opened for the enrolment of 
" minute men ;" trunks were packed with assorted battle- 
field stores ; companies were organized, with experienced 
captains in charge of each ; food, clothing, and stimulants 
were purchased and prepared for instant transmission 
whenever the order should come. Upon the first inti- 
mation of the battle of South Mountain the minute men 
started. Clergymen, lawyers, physicians, merchants, 
mechanics promptly responded to the call. (Some, pass- 
ing forward rapidly, were on the field during the battle 
of Antietam. Others arrived the following night and 
day, with wagon-loads of stores. In a few days nearly 
seventy Delegates were on the ground, engaged in their 
work of mercy. Scattered over the field, among the ten 
thousand wounded men who lay in their bloody garments, 
in barns and sheds, in door-yards and open fields, with- 
out beds or shelter, faint and exhausted from hunger, 
thirst, and pain, without food or care, the Delegates were 
able to give them precious relief. At night they watched 


with the wounded while the worn-out surgeons slept, 
passing with careful step from one to another in answer 

to their calls, tenderly lilting the helpless, bathing 
wounds, loosing bandages, kneeling in prayer by the 
side of the dying, or taking their last message for the 
friends at borne. By day they prepared soup and 
drink, built booths of rails and hushes to shelter the 
men from the burning sun, and helped in a thousand 
ways when all help was needed. When the wounded 
had been removed to permanent hospitals, and the medi- 
cal department had thoroughly organized its force, the 
necessity for these labors ceased and the work of the 
minute men was done. There were, however, several 
hundred men so severely wounded that they could not 
safely he moved for several months. With these one 
Delegate, Rev. I. O. Sloan, remained until all had passed 
away, — some with recovered health, others to their last 
resting-place in a soldier's grave. 

A few Delegates visited the army while it remained 
near Harper's Ferry, and distributed Testaments and 
held religions services in the camps. After the battle 
of Fredericksburg, in December, a large party of 
minute men went to the front, under the direction 
of Rev. Alexander Reed. They established a. station 
at Falmouth, near the terminus of the railroad, and 
another at Aopiia Creek, so that the Delegates, in addi- 
tion to their usual work, were able to distribute food 
among the wounded, as they were brought from the field 
hospitals 10 he loaded upon cars, ami as they were trans- 
ferred from the cars to the boats. 

In the mean time the permanent hospitals at Baltimore, 
Washington, Frederick, and Cumberland had been visited 

.>, » 


by Rev. W. E. Boardman, and arrangements made for 
supplying stores and reading to each. Delegates were also 
sent to ramp Convalescent, near Alexandria, and to Camp 
Parole, at Annapolis. At each of those there wore con- 
stantly from five to twenty thousand soldiers, waiting in 
crowded tents for an order to join their regiments. In 
the former camp a station was established early in 
November, which was from the first a plaee of great 
interest ; religious meeting- were held each day, and the 
sick were visited at their tents; many tons of vegetables 
and other stores were distributed, together with large 
quantities o\' reading-matter, which did very much to 
relieve the wretchedness of a place known by its inmates 
as " Camp Misery." 

The following extracts from letters and reports will 
give more clearly than can lie shown in any other way 
the nature of the work done by the Delegates during 
this year. Rev. Mr. Sloan, in a report of the work per- 
formed by the Delegates on the Peninsula, says: — 

Those who have labored in this noble cause have found that far 
more is to Vie done than talking, distributing publications, and pray- 
ing. They have had to nurse, dress wounds, strip off filthy garments, 
wash from helpless soldiers the blood and dust of hard fights and 
hard marches ; cleanse them <>( vermin, and put upon them clean and 
comfortable clothing; dig graves tor the dead ; lift and open boxes; 
make wearisome visits on foot ; sleep on the ground, or floor, or bags, 
or bCxes, and ot'ten work from daylight until midnight, or all night 
Ion-', with little to eat except dry bread or crackers, and meat with- 
out cooking. 

Again he says : — 

We found many sinking with fever and Other diseases, unable to 
help themselves, with few to help them, in a most wretched condi- 
tion; clothes not changed, face ami hands not washed for days. We 

AKMY OF THE POTOMAC. — 1862. 365 

spent days, basin, soap, and towel in hand, going from man to man 
to wash them and change their clothes. In all this work,e\ erywhere, 
we distributed our stores with our own hands directly to the soldiers; 
gave them religious reading-matter, and had precious opportunities 
in whisper in their ears words of salvation, and breathe prayers for 
God's blessing, and guide the dying to Jesus, and often to address 
the groups, larger or smaller, as we found them collected together. 

Mr. Sloan writes at another time: — 

Y.m can have no conception of the amount of relief afforded bj 
the contents of the boxes senl to us. The soldiers, too, feel that they 
are net forgotten ; that those ai home are thinking about them and 
anxious t" relieve them. Man\ a poor sinking man lias been raised 
up. through the blessing of God, by the nourishing feed ami delica- 
cies which we have been enabled to give him. About four days 
since we visited some tents where t\\<> hundred sick were gathered, 
in the edge of a pine weeds. We found two men very siek from 
typhoid fever, in a small tint by themselves. One was delirious, and 
both seemed OOl far from death. They were lying upon the ground, 
with nothing hut their overcoats under them. We washed them and 
put on clean clothes, furnished by our friends at the North, and gave 
them some nourishing toed. To-day I was greatly surprised to Bnd 
them much improved, and the surgeon said they would both recover. 
This is only one instance out of many of the same kind. 

Rev. Geo. Bringhursl writes to Mr. Stuart from York- 
town, on June L'O, in giving a report of one of the 
earliesl deputations : — 

My pressing engagements among these crushed and sorrowing 
hearts warn me to be brief in advising you of the wants and move- 
ments of the deputation, a committee of which is doing good service 
at this place. On Tuesday evening live hundred sick and wounded 
men were brought lure from the White House, many of whom had 
not washed lor ever one week, tin- want of opportunity. These, 
added to the numher already here, render the work immense. Mr. 

Sloan is at Savage Station, where his services cannot be dispensed 
with at present. Mr.Ogden has toiled faithfully, and Is still using 


every effort to make all comfortable and happy. The soldiers declare 
that had it not been for the aid of the deputation many more ef 
them must have died. Messrs. Mingins, Wright, and Smith are here; 
but, my dear brother, this force is nothing- when so much is to be 
clone. I have attended three funerals during the last eighteen 
hours, and expect to attend several this afternoon. Send us good 
working' men, — men who can attend to the body as well as the soul, 
men who are willing to nurse as well as to preach. 

Rev. Geo. J. Mingins, in a letter from the same place, 
says: — 

As we entered a tent, we were much struck with the appearance 
of a man evidently fast passing away. lie was fine-looking, dark 
hair, full, intellectual fate, lustrous eyes. He had no bed but straw 
on the bare ground. His blanket was filthy : his under-clothing full 
of vermin. We washed him : changed his clothing : made a cot for 
him ; placed him on it ; gave him nourishing food ; spoke to him of 
home, of mother, of Jesus. Slowly turning, he took my hand: drew 
it to his face; tried to thank me; could not. What then? Tears 
fell upon the hand he held. His gratitude was made more manifest 
than words could tell. 

Mr. Bringlmrst writes from the same place: — 

After a prayer-meeting in Yorktown, in the month of July, as I 
was returning to my quarters, my attention was arrested by footsteps 
behind me. Turning, I met the gaze of a young soldier belonging 
to a regiment called the "Lost Children." " 0, sir." said he. ""won't 
you please tell me how I can be a Christian? I was at prayer- 
meeting to-night, and felt as though I could talk with you." "What 
made you think of being a Christian ?" I asked. " Why, sir, when 
I was on guard 1 was thinking of a beautiful hymn I had read in 
my Soldiers' Hymn Book, beginning, ' Rock of ages, cleft for me,' 
and 1 wondered if I could not be built upon that Rock." "Cer- 
tainly you can," I replied; i; shall we pray together?" Then on the 
dusty roadside, beneath the stars, a prayer went up to God which 
sent the weary soldier-boy to his duties with a light and happy 
heart. I afterwards fell in with him, and found him resting on 
the Rock. 

AK.MY OF THE POTOMAC. — L862. 367 

The following extract from ;i report of Rev. I. O. 
Sloan, who went in charge of one company of "minute 
men," may be taken as fairly illustrating the work done 
by each company : — 

We lift Washington two days before the battle of Antietam. We 
succeeded in getting two ambulances, which we loaded with stores 
from tlie Christian Commission rooms in Washington. We arrived 
in Middletown early on the morning of the 17th Sept. Hero we 
found wounded men coming in from the battle-field, for the battle 
had commenced at daylight or even before that time, — some with 
fingers shot off, arms broken, wounded in the head, covered with 
blood, presenting a terrible picture of the slaughter that was going 
on. The little church on the main street was already filled with our 
wounded, a- also some of the houses opposite. We stayed here long 
enough to give out some of our stores, for we found them entirely 
destitute of lint, bandages, stimulants, and indeed almost everything 
suitable for the comfort and relief of the suffering. It appears that 
th( Christian Commission were the lirst that had store.- on the road 
to the scene of action, and very gratefully were our two ambulance 
loads received by the surgeons and the men. As we hurried along 
to wluie the two armies were engaged, we frequently had to stop 
and give of our supplies to the wounded whom we met in ambu- 
lances, and who lined the road, hobbling along as best they could, to 
find some temporary hospital. At Keedysville, about two miles 
from the battle-field, several houses were filled with wounded. We 
halted at the last one as we passed through the town. This was 
used as a hospital fin- the men of Sedgwick's Division. Every room 
in the house was tilled with wounded, and every spot almost in the 
yard. The hospital was in charge of Dr. Huston, a good man. who 
was trying to do all he could for the relief of his patient-, hut they 
had as vet received no .-tore-, and were entirely without anything to 
eat. We gave them what we could spare. Some Delegates of our 
party remained here all dav, dressing wounds, giving nourishment, 
and arranging for the comfort of the patients. I am sure every one 
here tilt the importance of our Commission. Indeed, we do not see 
what they would have done it' it had not been for the supplies we 
lunl with us. All dav they were still bringing in wounded to this 


place, — many among them seriously wounded, with no hopes of 
recovery. From the hills a little beyond here the terrible conflict 
was plainly visible, but we had not much time to witness the progress 
of the battle, all our time being taken up in attending to the wounded 
and in bringing them to the hospital. Nearly every farm-house and 
barn in all that region was made a hospital. The names of some, 
such as White House Hospital, Hoffman's Farm, Stone House, and 
others, will ever be familiar in connection with the battle. We 
visited all these and left some supplies. Several members of the 
Christian Commission, who had come by other routes, we found at 
each hospital, doing great good. They, as well as ourselves, had a 
good supply of stores. At the White House Hospital there were 
probably two thousand wounded brought in. A large number of 
these were of the Southern army. At the Hoffman Hospital there 
were at least fifteen hundred, and at the Stone House as many if not 
more. On Sunday succeeding the battle we established ourselves 
permanently at the Hoffman House, thinking it better to concentrate 
our energies upon one point. In every spot here, — the barn, the 
stable, carriage-house, sheds, straw stacks, orchards, and indeed every- 
where, — were to be seen wounded and dying men. For the first few 
days, of course, all was bustle and confusion. Nothing scarcely 
could be thought of but affording relief to the sufferers. Prayer 
only could be made at the side of one drawing near to his end, or 
words of Scripture whispered into the ear of the moaning patient as 
we dressed his wound or gave him nourishment. We had scarcely a 
moment for sleep. Many incidents of thrilling interest occurred 
here. A great proportion of the sufferers were youths, ranging from 
sixteen up to twenty-one years. After a few days, when matters 
were somewhat systematized, we had religious services every even- 
ing, — in the barn, in the dwelling-house, carriage-house, and wherever 
there was a large number collected. 

Rev. Geo. B. Buzzell gives the following description 
of the station at Falmouth : — 

Our camp at Falmouth Station will never be forgotten by the 
Delegates, wdio were at work there after the battle of Fredericks- 
burg. Just south of us was the river, — only a few rods, — and on 


the heights beyond we could see the rebel camp-fires by night and 
the spires of Fredericksburg byday,and being close to the railroad we 

were of course in the midst of the confusion and noise of the trans- 
portation of men and supplies. But being there we -were in the 
midst of our work. The wounded, brought for transportation to 
A.cquia Creek and Washington, were sometimes kept waiting for 
hours in the ambulances, or laid on the open platform on the 
ground, close by our camp-fire, which was seldom without its row of 
smoking kettles. To U-r<\ the hungry, worn-out men, to refresh and 
cheer them, and talk to them of Jesus Christ, when our words seemed 
to strike the same subject with which their own thoughts were busy, — 
this was a work to thank God for. The value of the work done by 
our men there is beyond computation. 

[YEAR 1863.] 

Iii preparing for the labors of another year the Com- 
mission made several important changes in the method 
of conducting its field work. The rapidly increasing 
number of Delegates who now offered their services, and 
the corresponding increase of stores that poured in to 
the Central Office from every direction, necessitated a 
more thorough organization than that which had hitherto 
proved sufficient. It was therefore decided to employ a 
limited number of permanent agents; who should remain 
constantly with the army and personally superintend the 
wort of the Commission in all parts of the field. The 
term of service for which Delegates were received was 
also extended, all Delegates being required tit pledge 
themselves " to take the position to which they should 
be assigned by the agent of the Commission, and to con- 
tinue in the work not less than six weeks." Extensive 
arrangements for securing a full assortment of religious 
reading for distribution among the men in camp were 
also made. The supply now provided comprised Testa- 



ments and portions of the Scriptures, soldiers' hymn 
and tune books, knapsack books, — of many kinds, 
with flexible covers, — weekly religions papers from all 
parts of the country, and the monthly papers published 
by the Tract Societies. 

Mr. John A. Cole, who had already served as a Dele- 
gate for nearly six months, was appointed General Field 
Agent of a district comprising the Army of the Potomac 
and the hospitals and camps of Washington, Maryland, 
and Western Virginia. Messrs. T. R. Ewing and J. R. 
Miller, who entered the service of the Commission as 
Delegates, in March, were retained as Field Agents upon 
the expiration of their terms. Mr. Ewing was obliged 
to leave the field in July. Mr. Miller remained until 
October, when he was appointed General Field Agent 
in the Department of the Ohio, — Mr. Chas. W. Jenkins 
taking his place in the Army of the Potomac. Messrs. 
F. E. Shearer, E. F. Williams, and J. R. Miller, assisted 
by R. G. McCreary, Esq., and other efficient volunteers, 
directed the extensive operations of the Commission at 
Gettysburg during the months of July and August. 
Rev. B. F. Hamilton was permanently employed as 
agent at Camp Parole, Annapolis, where there were from 
15,000 to 20,000 paroled prisoners constantly encamped. 

In the work of this year the agents of the Commission 
everywhere received the kindest consideration from 
army officers, and were aided by them materially in 
many ways. Passes were given by the Provost Marshal 
General to all registered Delegates, admitting them to 
every part of the army and securing free transportation 
upon government trains and boats. Besides this great 
advantage, the agents were permitted the free use of the 


military telegraph lines, and the right to purchase sup- 
plies for their stations, of any brigade commissary, at 
officers' prices. Post and depot quartermasters also 
were authorized to aid the Commission by furnishing 

buildings, tents, wagons, ambulances, etc., for its use, 
whenever this could be done without detriment to the 
public service. 

With these advantages the agents were able to estab- 
lish and maintain stations in every part of the army, so 
long as it was encamped in winter quarters. When the 
active Campaign opened, however, it was found that these 
facilities could no longer be depended upon to that extent 
which was essential to an efficient prosecution of the 
"work. It became necessary, therefore, to purchase 
wagons, horses, and tents, so that, whatever the exigen- 
cies of the public service might be, the Commission could 
at all times keep its corps of Delegates at the points 
where their services were most required, and supply 
them promptly with all needed stores. The first four- 
horse wagon was purchased in July, and, after a narrow 
escape from Mosby's guerrillas, reached the army, then 
encamped near Warrenton. It proved so useful that 
another was added in November, as there were indica- 
tions of a winter campaign. In August two large chapel 
tents were purchased and used at the front. They were 
pitched near large bodies of troops, and opened for reli- 
gious services every evening, while during the day they 
were the centres to which chaplains and soldiers came 
from all parts of the army, for packages of Testaments, 
hymn-hooks, and papers. The success attending the 
meetings in these chapels prepared the way for the 
winter's work, in anticipation of which twelve expensive 


and commodious chapel tents were procured for the 
permanent stations. 

The number of Delegates in the field varied consider- 
ably during the year. In January there were but five 
or six ; in February the average number in the held was 
ten; in March, twenty-five ; in May, thirty-five.; — the 
average continuing at about this number for the re- 
mainder of the year. In addition to these were the 
special battle-field Delegates and minute men. who usu- 
ally remained in the work but two or three weeks, re- 
turning when the emergency had passed for which they 
had volunteered. 

The amount of religious reading was greatly increased 
during the year. For the month of September the dis- 
tribution at the front and in the Washington hospitals 
amounted to 75,200 religious papers, representing twenty- 
two different publications, 6,900 hymn books, 13,200 
knapsack books, and 63,000 pages of tracts. This was 
about the average monthly distribution for the remainder 
of the year. The systematic distribution of this material 
was one of the most important features of the year's 
work. It began, most happily, with the attempt to fur- 
nish every soldier who might desire it with a copy of 
the New Testament. This, the first combined effort 
ever attempted by the Delegates, resulted, during the 
months of March and April, in the distribution of over 
35,000 copies in the Army of the Potomac alone. 

Another most important feature was the evening 
prayer-meeting, which was, in accordance with the set- 
tled policy of the Commission, held at every station 
every night in the week. These meetings were a source 
of great comfort and profit to the soldiers, who in winter 

ai;my of the potomac. — isr,::. :'>7d 

and summer came, some of them from distant camps, to 
these tents of prayer. Their influence was often felt to 
a remarkable degree through entire brigades and divi- 
sions, checking profanity to such an extent as to be ob- 
served by all. The manner of conducting these meet- 
ings varied, but usually a short address by one of the 
Delegates preceded the hour spent in exhortation and 
prayer, in which both soldiers and Delegates freely en- 
gaged. The hymns loved at home by the followers of 
Jesus were precious here, and their notes were wafted 
nightly over the camps and through hospital wards, till- 
ing many a troubled heart with thoughts of home ami 

The following extracts from the Report of the Gene- 
ral Field Agent will furnish some details of the opera- 
tions of the Commission during the year: — 

The month of January, 1863, found the Army of the Potomac on 
tin- north bank of the Rappahannock, opposite the heights of Fred- 
ericksburg, where, but :i tew days before, thousands of brave nun 
had gone down in battle. The warm, pleasant days still delayed 
the order for " winter-quarters," but all believed the active campaign 
had closed, and that months of rest must intervene before the eontliet 
would be renewed. 

The Christian Commission had at this time two stations ; one at 
the shanty village of Aeipiia, the other at the railroad terminus 
opposite the city of Fredericksburg. The first consisted of a rough 
board barrack, fifteen feel by twenty, its front door opening upon 
the marsh: the other a tent, fourteen feet by fourteen; — both being 
ted to us by the quartermaster of the post. In these quarters, 
rude and limited as they were, a work, great in amount and variety, 
was performed. Here the Delegates of the Commission lived ; upon 
this floor, and upon the three stories of the rude scaffolding that 
adorned one side of the room, slept the weary workers after their 
day of toil, and with them as nianv belated travellers its could tiinl 


a resting-place. Here, upon shelves and in boxes, were the supplies 
sent for the needy, from East and North and West; here a pile of 
Testaments, there a box of hymn books ; in this corner a huge stack 
of religious papers and tracts; on the other side, shelves tilled with 
dried fruits, preserved fruits, domestic wines ; and in these boxes 
generous piles of warm shirts, socks, and drawers. On a shelf, 
seldom reached, were bags of lint, bandages and rags, lanterns and 
pails, brandy and soup, — the suggestive equipment for the battle- 
field. Here in the day was a constant stream of chaplains, and 
surgeons, ami soldiers, coming for the weekly supply of reading for 
the regiment, some hospital luxuries for the sick, or for the little 
"housewife," with its needles and thread and much-prized letter; 
Delegates coining and going, taking their leads in arms and haver- 
sacks, as they go to distant hospitals and camps, bearing the word of 
life or refreshment for frail bodies. Here at night, the boxes placed 
in rows, the table set on one side, the little room was filled with a 
company of worshippers, met for the praise of (I. id. 

The work of the Christian Commission in the army was one of 
constant change. The year, indeed, was made up of many distinct 
campaigns, the one differing so greatly from the other that, although 
the same men were actors in each, one would with difficulty identify 
them as the same. This week the Delegates may be distributing 
religious papers ami books, preaching the Gospel to crowds of 
healthy, vigorous men ; the next, preparing with their own hands 
some soothing draught or nourishing food for those who are languish- 
ing with disease in some remote hospital. This week preparing 
reading-rooms and chapels, feeding the mind with that which is 
wholesome and abiding, inciting to temperance, purity, and piety ; 
the next, with coats nil', before a tire of logs, cooking coffee and soup 
for the hungry, or bearing stimulants and nutriment to those who 
are perishing. To-day, living quietly in " winter quarters ; " to-mor- 
row, off for the battle-field, with a blanket alone for house and 

During the month of January, at the stations before mentioned, 
the Delegates of the Commission performed a twofold work, — one 
party with a wagon visiting camps and field hospitals, taking both 
hospital stores and religious reading: tin- other remaining at the 
station, preparing food and drink for the hundreds of sick who, on 

ARMY OF THE POTOMAC. 1863. '■'<!■'> 

their way to the hospital, were detained sometimes many hours at 
the railroad station. Before the close of the month, however, a new 
and more important Held was opened. The army made one more 
attempt to gain the heights of Fredericksburg before resting in 
winter quarters. Again the effort failed. Scarcely had the long 
lines of infantry, cavalry, and artillery started upon their rapid night- 
march when a terrible storm of rain and sleet arose, breaking up the 
mads and making all advance impossible, ('hilled and exhausted, 
floundering through the mud in the bitter cold wind of that winter 
night, the soldiers struggled back to their cheerless camps, but thou- 
sands who had escaped unharmed from a score of battles now fell 
the victims of this memorable " mud campaign." A field hospital 
was established immediately at Windmill Point, a few miles below 
Acquia ( !r< ek. It was a city of tents, laid out in immense diamond- 
shaped enclosure.-, on a level plain which had lately been a cultivated 
field. Streets were laid out, ditches were dug, and a wharf built, 
but long before the wards were ready for their inmates the >ick began 
to arrive in boats and in ambulances from all parts of the army. 
The rain fell almost incessantly, and the whole camp presented a 
scene wretched in the extreme. Thousands of pale, weak, disease- 
stricken men lav for days in the fireless tents, on the muddy floors, 
or on beds of pole- or boughs, suffering from cold and from hunger. 
Many died daily, and the mounds of sand in the lone " God's acre" 
told a sad story of the cruel necessities of war. To this scene of 
distress the Delegates came. A small tent served as their storehouse 
and quarters. A dispatch to Washington and Philadelphia -.on 
furnished them with a thousand loaves of soft bread, and boxes of' 
clothing, cordials, and fruits. These they distributed throughout the 
camp, wherever the need was most urgent. They passed from tent 
to tent, ministering to the physical want- of the suffering, and direct- 
ing the hearts of all to Jesus, the great Physician of souls. Often 
they were called to the side of the dying, to give counsel in that last 
trying hour, and commit the departing Soul to God. The ih Lid were 
followed to the grave with the rites of Christian burial, and the 
record of the last moments and of the place of intermenl forwarded 
to the distant home friends. After the work of thedaythe Delegates 
would go from tint to tent, and read a few verses of Scripture and 

offer a prayer for God's blessing upon all. The effect of these 


ministrations was very manifest. Many who seemed near to death 
were recovered by the tender nursing and nutritious food. As the 
condition of the hospital improved, the Delegates found more time 
to devote to the spiritual wants of the men. An empty cookhouse 
was obtained for a chapel, where services were held on the Sabbath, 
and meetings for prayer each evening of the week. All felt the 
presence of the Holy Spirit. At one meeting fifty persons announced 
their desire and determination to begin a Christian life. Many who 
had come to that dreary camp a few weeks before, as they thought to 
die, found life instead, even life eternal. It was suddenly decided to 
break up this camp, sending the sick to regimental hospitals, and 
those most feeble to the hospitals at Washington and Alexandria. 
It was quickly done, and the experiences and labors at Windmill 
Point Hospital were for ever at an end. 

This campaign over, vigorous measures were taken for the next. 
Acting upon the experience gained at Windmill Point, it was 
resolved to undertake to supply every regiment in the army with 
copies of the New Testament. To do this more stations would be 
required, and more Delegates and stores needed. These were forth- 
coming, and until the 3d of May stations were in successful opera- 
tion at Acquia Creek, Belle Plain, White Oak Church, Falmouth 
Station. Falmouth Village, and Stoneman's Siding. Although this 
supply of Testaments was for the time being the first object of the 
stations, it was far from being their principal work. Each station 
was complete in itself, and contained from three to seven Del gates. 
Hospital stores. Testaments, and religious reading were at each, and 
were distributed under the direction of committees appointed for the 
purpose. At each, where practicable, a house or tent for religious 
worship was secured and meetings held every evening, while on the 
Sabbath appointments for preaching to regiments or brigades were 
filled by the clerical Delegates. One of the number, usually the 
oldest Delegate, acted as station agent, and early in the morning the 
different Delegates, assigned to their various duties, would separate, — 
one with an ambulance-load of quilts, dried fruit, or clothing, for a 
distant hospital: another making the round of the regiments to 
collect and till orders for Testaments ; others with bundles of books 
and papers, distributing among destitute companies. So the busy 
day was filled, until at evening all would meet, and, with the sol- 

ARMY OF THE POTOMAC. — 1863. :177 

diers who crowded the room or tent, ask God's blessing upon the 
labors of the day. 

Stoneman's Station was the scene of a remarkable revival. The 
tents used as a chapel formed a room nearly sixty feet long. Meet- 
ings were held nightly, and to them officers and men came in erowds. 
The tents stood upon an elevation, commanding an extended view, 
and, as the evening hour drew near, men, singly and in squads ami 
companies, could be seen wending their way from the various camps 
towards the house of prayer. "Mount Zion," the soldiers called it ; 
and, like Mount Zion of old, it was indeed "beautiful" when, 
crowded to its utmost capacity and throngs about the open doors, 
strains of some familiar home-loved hymn floated out upon the 
evening air. Here were heard, from veterans who had passed 
through all the temptations and trials of a soldier's life, testimonies 
of the strength ami comfort they had experienced all the way along 
from tin' religion of Jesus; here soldiers would ask what they should 
do to he saved; and here many, with joy beaming on the counte- 
nance, would tell of the blessing they had found in the assurance of 
sins forgiven through the blood of Christ. The number of men who 
in these meetings gained a knowledge of Jesus no earthly record 
will ever show; but we know that there were scores who dated the 
commencement of their Christian life from those meetings at Stone- 
man's, and hundreds, many of whom have joined the company of 
saints in heaven, will thank God through eternity for His spirit 
there bestowed. 

Falmouth Village presented a most interesting field for our station 
labor, and one, too, quite different from that at Stoneman's. The 
Commission there occupied a large room in a private house, the 
owner being away on business connected with the Southern Con- 
federacy. An old tobacco warehouse on the very banks of the river, 
within hail of the rebel pickets, was cleared of rubbish, the broken 
ceiling and windows were covered with old canvas ami a -mall table, 
borrowed from a neighboring cottage, served for a pulpit. Here, on 
Sabbath afternoons and on each evening of the week, meetings were 
held which were largely attended, and here, too. the preaching of 
the truth was made salvation to many erring souls. The village 
itself was a ruin; its church u<vA as a barrack for troops ; its -tor . 
and factories closed. A large number of the inhabitant- were -till 


there, living as best they could, — old men, women, and children. 
The station agent, among other labors, organized a Sabbath school 
for the children, which came to be held every day in the week. Thirty 
or forty little rebels were gathered in, who, for two years of want 
and war, had heard nothing of school or church. They very soon 
learned to recite hymns from the Soldiers' Hymn-book and chapters 
from the Testament. The confidence of the inhabitants was in this 
way secured, and by the distribution of Testaments and tracts among 
them it is believed real service was done for the Master. 

Thus the months of March and April passed away, our work 
going on successfully at all points, there being none to molest or 
make afraid; and yet, as the spring days passed and the roads 
became hard and settled, we knew that our time was short, and that 
what we would do must be done quickly. Reviews of cavalry and 
infantry came in quick succession, of brigades, divisions, and corps, 
before Governors of States, members of Congress, and at last before 
the President himself, — so that we were not taken by surprise when. 
one May morning, we looked out upon the old camps, to find that in 
the night all had melted away, and nought but crumbling walls and 
blackened posts remained. It was a thrilling sight, and to us a sad 
one, as the h>ng lines of infantry, with colors flying, but with the 
sound of neither fife nor drum, marched steadily and silently away, — 
away for yet another stern grapple with the country's foe. 

Nothing more remained for us at the old stations, and so, with 
haste and many regrets that work so precious must now be sealed up 
forever, we rolled up our tents, removed our stores, and prepared for 
our next campaign. It came almost before we were ready for it. 
After many rumors of as many different movements, we learned that 
our forces had crossed the Rappahannock, and a battle had been 
fought twelve or fifteen miles up the river. A detachment of our 
corps of Delegates accompanied the army in connection with General 
Whipple's Division, and were under fire during the battle, taking 
care of the wounded. A council o\^ the Delegates remaining was 
called, and it was deemed best to divide the force into two parties, — 
one to go directly to the battle-field, the other to remain at Falmouth, 
where it was expected a fierce battle would be fought. The plan 
was soon carried out, and a Government wagon was loaded with 
such stores as previous experience had shown to be useful, and 

ARMY OF THE POTOMAC. — 1803. 379 

started for United States Ford. Threading their way through 

w 1- and Gelds tillrtl with wagons, ambulances, and nun-, after 

a journey of many hours the ford was reached. No wagons were 
allowed beyond; so the load was taken out, a place for camp 
selected, and the wagon sent back to Falmouth. There was do lark 
of work, — on all sides, at ever] bouse and barn ami shed, in gardens 
ami door-yards, under trees ami the shelter of walls, lay wounded 
ami bleeding men. With soap and bandages and pails, strong anus 
ami willing hearts, the services of these Delegates were offered to the 
surgeons in charge and gladly accepted, and from that time they were 
hard at work. Their supply of stimulants and food was soon ex- 
hausted, hut was reinforced by another wagon-load sent from Falmouth. 
The party left behind in the mean time were not idle. The 
Second and Sixth Corps, storming the heights of Fredericksburg, 
carried everything before them in victory. The "old flag" waved 
in triumph from height to height ; but in the city the red signals 
hanging at every corner, at church-doors, and the market-place, 
told how fearful was the cost, — hospitals on every side, houses filled 
with the prostrate forms of dying men. who but an hour ago rushed 
forward to the charge. Hut why tarry here? No pen can describe 
such scenes or record such labors. The history of Chancellorsville 
is known by all; its gallant achievements, its bitter disappointment, 
its herculean labors, and its fruitless end. It is enough to say that 
the Delegates of the Christian Commission worked amid those scenes 
as anv other fathers or brothers would have toiled, had they been 

permitted to be there. 

Wearied and sad, the remnant of the gnat army came back to 
the "Id camps. The old walls are again covered and echo to the 
sound- of life ; but how many whose voice- one week before were 
heard in the cabins and the streets are now forever silent in the 
soldier's grave ! 

Field hospitals were now established, or rather enlarged, for the 
tent- had been rising for two or three weeks before the battle, in 
anticipation of it. The wounded were taken as quickly as might be 
to the corps hospitals. These hospitals were as extensive as that at 
Windmill Point, and stretched over greater territory. .Miles in some 
Gases intervened between the COrpS, and it wa- found that several 

stations or centres would be necessary to supply them. If . 


was a new work for the Delegates of the Commission. Three main 
stations were located in close proximity to the hospitals, and were 
known as Potomac Creek, Howard, and Brook's Stations. 

Acquia Creek was still our base for supplies ; but a new tent was 
pitched beyond and above the fever-breeding marsh, bringing the 
Delegates nearer to the First and Twelfth Corps hospitals. Although 
at first and for several days the time was chiefly taken up in dressing 
wounds and helping to bathe and comfort the wounded, a system 
was soon arranged, giving a certain district or number of tents to 
each Delegate. The first duty was to search out those who needed 
special articles of diet, or who required new shirts, drawers, or sucks, 
supplying the wants of each personally as they were found from day 
to day. Boxes of lemons, jars of preserves, and an abundant variety 
of "good things," put up by friends of the soldier months before, 
were now given out freely by the hands of the Delegates themselves. 
The stuck of the Commission was almost exhausted by the calls made 
from each station for shirts and socks, bandages and lint, soap and 
towels, handkerchiefs and slings, dried fruits and preserves, pickles 
and lemons. Almost everything that the kind hearts of donors had 
prompted them to send found thankful recipients in these vast field 

To divert the minds of the convalescing as much as possible from 
their own condition libraries were sent to the stations, whose books 
were greatly prized. Funerals, sometimes eight a day, were attended 
by the Delegates, and as a crowd of soldiers gathered about the 
grave of a comrade the opportunity was not lost in leading their 
thoughts to the resurrection of the dead, when all should meet again. 
On the Sabbath regular religious services were held, some in the 
open air, some in booths and tents, and each evening at the station 
chapel a prayer-meeting was held, often crowded to its utmost 

Among the interesting features of this campaign was the number 
of letters written for wounded men. The weekly reports show that 
hundreds of letters were written to home friends, who otherwise 
would have been left long in anxious suspense and doubt as to the 
condition of the loved son or husband whom the papers had reported 
" wounded in the battle of Chancellorsville." Very exhausting both 
to mind and body were these incessant labors, and nearly every Dele- 

ai:my of the potomac. — 1863, 381 

gate became worn out by excessive fatigue, and some barely escaped 
the grave. Those were precious services indeed rendered by the 
Delegates of the Christian Commission, who as pastors and friends 
came to bring home-comforts and spiritual consolation to the thou- 
sands of maimed, dying soldiers. Precious services, thai wealth 
could never purchase, and for which the Christian Church, East and 
West, has great reason to rejoice. 

Thus week after week passed away, bringing back health, strength, 
and vigor to many, but closing the earthly career of hundreds of 
those who lay upon the rude cots of these strange, sad cities of the 
wounded. The heat of summer followed the delightful days of spring. 
Still the Army of the Potomac lay quiet and harmless in the old 
winter camps. 

•* Why, this looks like a ' move,' captain !" said the field agent to 
the quartermaster at Falmouth, as an unusual activity was observed. 
"And that it is," was the laconic answer. "When will you require 
our tent?" " Before five o'clock." " You shall have it, sir." And 
this was the first intimation the Christian Commission had of that 
grand movement which in two short weeks formed the Army of the 
Potomac in line of battle on " Round Top" and "Cemetery Hill." 
Two hours in which to break up housekeeping! Yet in two hours the 
stores and household implements were packed, and the tent that for 
six months had been known to us as the " Falmouth Station" was 
rolled up and " turned in" to the quartermaster. 

There was "mounting in hot haste" that afternoon, and a rapid 
ride from one to another of the seven stations then in operation. 
"Pack up and strike tents" was the order of the hour, and busy 
hands made quick work of it. At Potomac Creek was a wonderful 
chapel, just completed, built by Delegates and soldiers, framed of 
poles cut from the woods and covered with old canvas collected 
from deserted camps. The next day was the Sabbath, and then this 
chapel was to he dedicated with impressive ceremonies; but that 
night the sky was lurid with the flames of the burning church. 

That Sabbath was a busy day. From early (lawn till evening was 
every man in the Commission hard at work. Some were aiding to 
remove (he sick anil wounded, who first of' all were sent by boat to 

Washington; others wen' striking tents, boxing up stores, loading 
wagons, unloading cars, and finally loading all upon a barge that 


lay by the wharf, amid such confusion as beggars all description. 
At night everything was safely loaded, and the next day housed 
in the rooms in Washington. 

But there was now no time for rest or delay ; before night messen- 
gers were on their way to Fairfax Court-house, where was a station 
of the Commission, and where it was expected the army would lie 
found. Nor were we disappointed. The line of the army extended 
from Fairfax over the Bull Run battle-field, stretching its right 
wing nearly to the Potomac. 

It was thought by many that another battle would be fought near 
the old fields of Bull Run and Chantilly, but a few days revealed 
the fact that the enemy had crossed the Potomac and were rapidly 
marching towards Pennsylvania. In the mean time a party Of 
Delegates, with a full equipment of stores, had pitched their tent 
near Fairfax depot. This was not clone in vain, for, during the four 
days the tent remained, between live and six hundred wounded and 
sick men were fed. Being apprised of the coming of long trains of 
ambulances bearing the wounded, — three hundred, who had fallen 
at Aldio, — hoi coffee, with sugar and milk, together with fresh bread, 
were waiting the nearly starved sufferers as they reached the cars. 
Seldom is a feast welcomed with greater joy than was that. Tears 
of gratitude were upon many cheeks. There was no one else who 
could have furnished this food to them, and if the Christian Commis- 
sion had not been at hand, twelve or fifteen hours more would have 
passed before the poor sufferers, weak and fainting with hunger, 
would have found food. 

On the night following the hoqjitals of three cavalry brigades, 
lying at Fairfax Court-house, were suddenly broken up. and the 
patients, between two and three hundred in number, some of them 
in a dying state, carried in ambulances, over the roughest of all roads, 
to Fairfax Station, where many of them lay for hours on the floor of 
the depot, awaiting transportation to Washington. The Delegates, 
who had been engaged all the previous night in their labor of love, 
now devoted themselves with fresh zeal to the work of feeding and 
nursing the wounded. They provided, as they were able, for the 
sick, going around among them, giving them drink, — coffee, tea. 
lemonade, — giving bread spread with sweet butter and tempting pre- 
serves, while speaking words of cheer as they continued their work. 

AKMY OF the ROTOMAC. — isc,;:. 383 

Said the master of transportation to one of the Delegates, with tears 
rolling down his cheeks, " I had made up my mind that these Com- 
missions were a humbug, but I tell you what it is, if there is any 
Christianity it is in the Christian Commission." 

Everything now was veiled in obscurity. None could tell where 
the enemy were. Rumors of all sorts rilled the air. Nothing could 
be done further than to fall back to Washington and Baltimore, pre- 
pare a large supply of battle-field stores, anil stand ready to start 
forward whenever the word came. 

It came at last, after long days of suspense, — the story of the first 
day's fight at Gettysburg. At mice Delegates started tor (lie Held, 
and before the smoke of the battle hail cleared away, they wire 
among the mangled forms of the fallen, doing with their might what- 
ever their hands found to do. From this time, every train brought 
fresh supplies of men and stores, until over three hundred Delegates, 
each assigned to his speeial post, with ample stores at his disposal, 
wiir seeking to alleviate the horrors of that bloody field. 

The supply station of the Commission was established in the vil- 
lage of Gettysburg, a large storehouse being used as a depot for the 
reception and distribution of supplies. The amount of business 
transacted at this station may hi 1 seen in the fact that in addition to 
the labors connected with the reception of Delegates and their 
assignment to their speeial fields, there were in a little over one 
month's time about twenty-five hundred eases of stores distributed, 
valued at seventy-five thousand dollars. On some days a thousand 
loaves of bread were given out, large " Pennsylvania loaves," sent 
by wagon-loads to our station day after day. by the "Patriot Daugh- 
ters" of Lancaster, and the generous-hearted men and women of 
York. Carlisle, Columbia, Harrisburg, and indeed nearly every town 
in that part of the State. Every day army wagons were loaded 
with provisions, clothing, wines, preserves, medicines, etc., for the 
corps station, and ambulances and smaller wagons sent with needed 
stores to the smaller hospitals and to companies scattered here and 
there all over the field. The Commission received very great assist- 
ance at this station from the people of Gettysburg. Many of the 

leading citizens opened their houses for the accommodation of I tele- 
gate.-, while others gave their personal services most unremittingly in 
opening and assorting hoxes of stores, copying invoices, answering 


the letters of inquiry from friends of soldiers, and in many ways 
giving increased efficiency to the station. 

An important feature of the Commission's work was the opening 
of feeding stations for soldiers while on their way to permanent hos- 
pitals. One of these was opened in the village, after the battle, to 
feed the thousands of men who, weary, weak from loss of blood, 
hungry and disheartened, came pouring in from the various field 
hospitals three or four miles from town, hoping to find cars ready to 
take them to Baltimore or Philadelphia. Another was, by request 
of the Medical inspector, opened at Hanover Junction, when the 
wounded began to be removed in large numbers to the permanent 
hospitals of more Northern cities. Here many thousands of soldiers 
were fed, the trains being halted for this purpose; every man received 
suitable food and drink. 

80011 after the close of the battle, stations of the Commission were 
also established in the corps hospitals. A competent Delegate was 
appointed to take charge of each, and other Delegates assigned to 
work under his direction, subject, however, to the orders of the 
surgeon in charge, to whom all were to report themselves in the first 
instance for instruction in the work which they should perform. In 
the hospitals of every corps, except the Sixth, there was a tent 
occupied by the stores and Delegates of the Commission. The work 
in these corps hospitals, though in many respects similar to that done 
by the Delegates after the battle of Chancellorsville, was yet in many 
points quite unlike that, and could be fully represented only by a 
detailed description of each station, as shown by the reports of the 
Delegates themselves. 

Mr. Williams, ill his report of this field, gives the following 
account of one of these stations : — 

In some respects the work in the Second Corps hospital was the most inte- 
resting anil important. There were at least twenty-five hundred wounded nun 
in tliis hospital, which was located at first (though afterwards removed to a 
better situation) in a grove about a mile south of the Baltimore pike, and 
between two ami three miles from town. The men here were in a terrible con- 
dition. They lay upon the damp ground, many of them with nothing under 
them. In this hospital there was an unusually large number of amputations, 
the amputated stumps lying directly upon the ground, except when now and 
then elevated a little upon a handful of straw or a bunch of old rags. Many 

ARMY OF THE POTOMAC. — 1863. 385 

of the in. n. perhaps most of them, were in want of clothing. Suitable food 
was nut to be had. The surgeons were overworked, '['here was an insufficient 
number of attendants, — eveiy able-bodied man that could possibly be spared 
having accompanied the army in its pursuit of Lee. 

Into this field, as already intimated, the Christian Commission entered. A 
tent was pitched, at first in the Third Division of the Second Corps?, under the 
direction of Rev. .1. E. Adams, of New Sharon, Maine, and .). IS. Stillson, Esq., 
of Rochester, N. V. Sere a dozen or more Delegates had their headquarters, 
while they sought t<> alleviate pain, with all the energy which the sight of 
Suffering ran arouse. Another tent, and still another, was pitched in the First 
and Second Divisions of the same corps, where the Rev. K. C. Matlack, with a 
company of Delegates from Philadelphia, and Mrs. Moore and her daughter, 
sent by the Commission from Baltimore, labored incessaijtly lor several weeks. 
Other ladies, from different parts of Pennsylvania, did a good work in this 
corps, , king and supplying choice dishes of nourishing food for the lan- 
guishing nun. 

There were nearly or quite a thousand rebels, most of them severely 
wounded, lying on the outskirts of this hospital, shrieking and crying for 
assistance continually. The appearance of those connected with the hospital 
of the Third Division of this corps beggars description. Destitute of clothing, 
many of them nearly naked and covered with filth, without tents, lying in the 
mud, — for the Midden rise of the little stream by which they had been placed 
rendered ii impossible to avoid this, — cursing, praying, begging their atten- 
dants or visitors to put an end to their sufferings by taking their lives, here one 
and yonder another laid out by himself to die, these wretched men made the 
strongest appeal to Christian sympathy and benevolence. Nor was their 
appeal unheeded. Physicians who had come out under the direction of the 
Commission were immediately sent to their relief, to dress their wounds ami to 
prescribe for their necessities, while stores were freely distributed among them 
by Messrs. Adams and Stillson ami their associates. Nor did this work cease 
till every wounded man was made comfortable, every wound dressed, every 
necessary amputation performed, tents issued for their accommodation, under- 
clothing distributed, and those who were able to endure it sent to Baltimore or 
Philadelphia, while the rest were conveyed to the general hospital established 
on the other side of the town. Hardly less thorough than this was the work 
performed in the First and Second Divisions of the corps. Mr. Matlack and 
those associated with him were untiring in their efforts to make our soldiers 
comfortable, dressing wounds themselves, giving without stint while their 
stores held out. then telegraphing to Philadelphia for more, and only remitting 
their exertions when the necessity for them had passed away. 

When all who could he had been removed to the general hospital, there 
were ileal l\ lour hundred left on the ground, severe cases of amputation, com- 
pound fracture, etc., of whom probably not more than one-third lived. Among 


these men, many of whom suffered excruciatingly, some of our Delegates con- 
tinued to labor till the last, through the surgeons and in connection with other 
Commissions supplying their bodily wants, but seeking chiefly to direct them 
to the Great Physician for the healing of the soul. Many gave evidence of a 
renewed state. Especially was this true among the rebels. And as the Dele- 
gates went through their tents you would hear the inmates invoke blesssings 
upon their heads, and beg them to stop and pray and sing. 

Every station occupied by the Commission on this field of blood 
is worthy of a special record. Suffice it to say, however, that at every 
point of this field, as at other fields of like character, the effort to re- 
lieve the temporal wants of the dying was blended with Christian 
counsel and consolation for their spiritual necessities, and as ever 
before, so here the Holy Spirit attended such ministrations with the 
Divine blessing. 

Besides this corps of Delegates among the hospitals of Gettysburg, 
another strong force, with ample and well-selected stores, followed 
the army in its pursuit, of the enemy to the Potomac, in anticipation 
of another battle, but were spared the painful sights and duties for 
which they were prepared. 

In connection with this reference to the work at 
Gettysburg the subjoined letter of R. G. McCreary, 
Esq., will be found of historic interest and value. Mr. 
McCreary is a prominent citizen and lawyer of that 
place, was one of the most indefatigable laborers through 
all the time that the Commission retained direct control 
of the work, and subsequently took the entire supervi- 
sion of it as Chairman of the Army Committee to whom 
it was assigned, when the field agents of the Commission 
were withdrawn for other and more urgent service else- 
where : — 

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. 

Geokcje H. Stuart, Esq., — 

Dear Sir : Our Christian Commission work here is finished; the 
thousands of wounded men lately around us have gone ; the tents 
that whitened our fields have been removed ; the " pomp and circum- 
stance of war," infantry, artillery, cavalry, ambulance and army 

AH.MY (>K Till', POTOMAC. 1863. 387 

wagon, have disappeared from our streets; all have gone save the 
" unreturning brave," whose bivouac covers the slope of Cemetery 
Hill, and the thousands of their deluded foes, who, with valor worthy 

of a better cause, threw away their lives in vain efforts to break the 

wall of fire and steel which crossed their path to victory, and whose 
undistinguished graves dot and sear the landscape for miles around, 

Being resident here, my work commenced with the movements 
preceding the great struggle of the first days of duly, which decided 
the fate of the national capital, and probably of the Southern Con- 
federacy. For several days previous the movements of detached 
portions of the hostile armies, like scudding clouds whose rapid and 
diverse flighl precede and portend the hurricane, seemed plainly to 

indicate the approach of the tremendous conflict of those days. On 

the 26th day of June a regiment of Pennsylvania volunteers arrived 
from Harrisburg, and marched to Marsh Creek on the Chambers- 
burg turnpike, from which direction it was understood a portion of 
the rebel army threatened an advance. After their departure my 
attention was called to two young men, lying in a wet and dirty apart- 
ment :il the railroad station, sick and unable to travel. I had them 
immediately taken to my house and put to lied, where, by medical 
skill and careful nursing, they were so far recovered in a tew days 
as to bo able to join a party of their comrades in a successful attempt 
to reach their regiment, which in the mean time had made a li:i-l\ 
retreat before the advance of Early's division of Ewell's corps, which 
occupied the town on the 26th of dime, and the next day moved on 
towards the Susquehanna. Two days later a brigade of cavalry, 
under General Kopelin, arrived from the direction of Frederick, 
Maryland, and, as they expected a light and had no hospital Stores, 
at the request of their surgeon a number of our ladies were assem- 
bled, and the Sabbath was spent in the preparation of lint and blind- 
ages. They were not needed, however, as the cavalry tell back the 
next morning; but the supply thus provided proved very valuable 
a few days later. 

< )n the morning of the 30th of June a strong reconnoitoring force 
of rebels advanced, on the ( 'hambershurg turnpike, to the Seminary 
ridge overlooking the town : they interrogated a citizen as to the pres- 
ence id' " Yankee soldiers," and were told that there were a great 
many in the neighborhood. This information, false in fact, and in- 


tended to deceive, may have prevented them from taking possession 
of the town at that time, and they fell back several miles towards 
the mountains. In the afternoon of the same day Buford's cavalry 
division entered the town from the South, and passed a mile to the 
Northwest on the Chambersburg and Manassasburg turnpikes, and 
halted for the night. Their medical officer requested accommoda- 
tions for six or eight men of the command who were sick. 1 pro- 
cured the use of the railroad depot, and with a couple of assistants 
soon had it cleared out and twenty comfortable beds carried in and 
arranged, ami tiny were soon all tilled with suffering men, for whom 
an abundant supply of suitable food and delicacies was speedily fur- 
nished by the families in the neighborhood, until the events of the 
succeeding day caused them to be removed to the rear of our army. 

The battle on the first of July commenced about the middle of the 
forenoon, between the rebels advancing on the Chambersburg turn- 
pike and Buford's cavalry, who, as the infantry of the First Army 
Corps came up and formed in line of battle, slowly retired to the 
rear. The approaching storm was watched with intense anxiety by 
the citizens, who, crowding to their housetops, cheered the advance 
of our brave troops; but it was not long until the boom of cannon, 
the bursting of shell, the rattle and crash of heavy infantry firing 
along the ridges West of the town, and the stream of litters which 
began to move in from the field of carnage, brought them to realize 
the fact that a fierce and bloody contest was in progress. 

I '(-rending from my chimney-top, and gathering up a basket of 
bandages, with basin, sponge, scissors, and pins, I hastened to the 
Dearest hospital, which I found in a warehouse about two hundred 
yards from my residence. I went to work with my coat off, and saw 
no more of the battle until the middle of the afternoon, though there 
was abundant evidence, in the many mangled and bleeding forms 
Constantly coming in, and the louder and increasing crash of arms, 
thai the conflict was a most terrible one, and was rapidly approach- 
ing the town. At length, the frequent explosion of shells in the im- 
mediate neighborhood, — one of them passing through a corner of 
the warehouse, — reminded me that 1 had a wife and family of chil- 
dren under tire, and therefore, reluctantly leaving my work, I hastened 
to look after them. Finding all safe, I ascended to the house-top 
for another view vi' the battle, and found that our army was falling 


back, ami M».ii the rush and roar of the retreat and battle in the 
Btreets banished everything else from our minds. That was a terri- 
ble night. Our army had been driven back; the town was I'nll of 
armed enemies. We saw and heard the progress of pillage all around 

us, and knew net how far it might proceed; hut we trusted in the 
Lord and were safe. 

The morning of July the second revealed a dreadful sight.— 'lead 

horses and dead men lay about the streets, and there were n< to 

bury them. Our first care was I'm- the multitude of wounded men 
new suffering for want of food. I sallied forth, taking care to lock 
the door after me. Anns and armor were strewn around and trod- 
den into the mud. I found the bakeries were in the hands of the 
rebels, and not a loaf or cracker remained : tin butchers' cattle had 
been driven away or confiscated, and no meat could be procured; 
the groceries were broken open, and their contents carried away or 
destroyed by t roups of rebels, who, like hungry wolves, roamed through 
the streets in search of plunder. The citizens had freely distributed 
to our own soldier- for several days previous, and had little left ill 
their houses, and, as we were entirely cut off from the world without 
the rebel lines, there was no possibility of procuring a supply ; but 
they did what they could, even denying their own families food in 

order to give something to the suffering men. In my own family, 
in anticipation of what had occurred, we had a good supply of coffee 
ami other articles now most needful; a twelve-gallon boiler was many 
times replenished, ami its contents carried in buckets to the different 
hospitals within reach, and, with baskets of bread and other edibles 
distributed among the men, served to relieve the pangs of hunger in 
many a brave soldier. 

In the rear of my residence is an open lot, on which a rebel com- 
missary cut up and distributed beef to a company or battalion of 
cavalry quartered near. My wife solicited and obtained from him 
the beef-bones left on the ground, anil bail them conveyed to her 
kitchen, and there washed, cut up, and speedily converted into ex- 
cellent beef-SOUp, until in this way probably one hundred gallons of 
this nourishing food had been distributed to the different hospitals, 
thus furnishing a most grateful and timely relief to the poor fellows, 
many of whom were not in condition to partake of solid food. 

Our surgeons, who remained with these men and permitted them- 


selves i" be taken prisoners; were greatly embarrassed for want of 
medical supplies, as the rebels would not or could not supply any, 
and instancrs were mentioned in which they carried off those pro- 
vided for our men. The ladies of the town freely devoted their 
linen and muslin goods to supply bandages and lint; but the lack of 
medicines was not so easily remedied. 

In one of the hospitals were several cases requiring operations, in 
which anodyiics were necessary, and I undertook to find any that 
might be in town. Calling at a drug store which was closed, the 
owner came to the door, and said he had nothing of the kind in the 
house, and added in a whisper, "Call again; there is a rebel officer 
in the -tore searching for some." At another establishment I suc- 
ceeded in getting a pound of chloroform, which was brought from 
some mysterious hiding-place, and for which the owner declined 
accepting any compensation. 

Allow me here to remark, that the stories which have been pub- 
lished, charging the people of this town with a want oi' hospitality 
toward the soldiers, are basely false. 1 do not believe any com- 
munity has exhibited more generous devotion towards those thrown 
upon their hands. The circumstances in which they were placed 
made it impossible tin- them to afford full relief, hut to the extent of 
their ability, as a general rule, and beyond their ability, they hesi- 
tated not to contribute in aid of the suffering multitudes around 
them. In those days of suffering 1 gathi red bread from house to 
house, and the last loaf and half loaf was always cheerfully given. 
In every community there are heartless and sordid persons to be 
found, and doubtless there are such here; but they are exceptions. 
In the Army of the Potomac there were skulkers, who, when their 
comrade- were lighting, hung in the rear and plundered the farm- 
house-. Shall we therefore charge that noble army with cowardice 
and robbery? Not less unjust is it to accuse the citizens of Gettys- 
burg of faults which a few individuals may have committed. Dur- 
ing the battle of the first day, when the rebel shells were shrieking 
and bursting around the hospitals, even the women were found in 
the midst of the wounded men as they Were carried in from the field, 
doing all in their power to administer to their comfort : and from 
that time all through those terrible days, and afterwards down to 
the idose, in every hospital in town and around it, at all times, with 

ARMY OF THE POTOMAC. — L863. ">'-»l 

a devotion thai never flagged, nor counted any sacrifice too great, 
our noble women were found, like angels of mercy, binding up 
wounds and administering cordials and viands, with gentle words of 
sympathy, more grateful to the sufferers than even the food neces- 
sary for their subsistence. Ask the many hundreds of wounded 
men who filled the warehouses, halls, churches, and so many of the 
private dwellings of tlif town (luring this trying period, what they 
think of thf hospitality of the people of Gettysburg, and I am surf 
the citizens will be satisfied with their verdict. 

The rebels, though disposed to help themselves, wore generally 
civil and even respectful toward- the citizens. A circumstance, 
however, occurred in the forenoon of Friday, July 3, which for a 
while seemed likely to produce trouble. A soldier of a Virginia 
regiment, sitting in front of the Franklin House, on the public 
square, was shot through the breast by a minie ball tired by a sharp- 
shooter in a house near the Cemetery, a full half mile distant. As 
lie lay writhing in agony, a crowd of his comrades gathered around, 
and insisted that he had been shot from some of the houses near the 
square, and threatened summary vengeance. I had gone to render 
any possible aid to the dying man: but finding that nothing could 
be done for him, was bathing his face when the excitement arosi . 1 
remonstrated with them, and after some time succeeded in convinc- 
ing them that they were mistaken, and the affair passed off with 
apparently sincere thanks for my -kindness to the dying man. The 
practice of sharp-shooting made it sometimes dangerous for pi 
on the streets. I had the day previous experienced a narrow escape 
from injury. As 1 was passing with my basket of bandages along 
Baltimore street, I was greeted with the peculiar sound of a minie 
close by my ear, and at the instant a drooping twig was cut by it 
from a tree just in front of me. The incident did not prevent my 
going the same round again: hut it made me careful to walk a- close 
as convenient to the wall- of the houses. 

'fie rebel officers, until Friday, seemed to In- entirely confident id' 
success. One of them said to me in the forenoon of Thursday that 
they would not remain with us more than a few hours, as General 
Lee had his plan of battle nearly arranged, and they Would move 
forward, aid he seemed to think with assured success. He said they 
had one hundred thousand men on this field, and boasted of their 


complete appointments and invincibility. The same night, at a late 
hour, several officers on horseback stopped in front of my dwelling, 
where several gentlemen, anxious for information, entered into con- 
versation with them ; they were in good spirits, and said they had 
advanced both wings of their army and had taken one of our bat- 
teries in the centre ; they extolled General Lee as the great master 
of the military art, and spoke of his admirable strategy in making 
a grand feint towards Philadelphia, in order to concentrate his army 
here for an attack on Baltimore and Washington. About this time 
a squad of soldiers passing were halted, and asked to what they 
belonged. They replied, "To the Second Louisiana Brigade." They 
were then asked if they had taken that battery, and they replied 
that they had to " come out," and could not take it. The officers 
were silent. These men said the next day that they had but fifty 
men left in their brigade after that assault; they were the "Lou- 
isiana Tigers," of whom those officers boasted that they had never been 
driven back in a charge, and never would be. 

A great many of the rebel soldiers seemed to have no affection for 
the service, and would gladly leave it if possible. This we found by 
conversation with their wounded men in the hospitals, and many 
incidents might be related showing that this feeling is common in 
the army, and that the soldiers are kept in the ranks solely by force 
of stern and inexorable military law. A gentleman living in the 
South end of the town, whose house was occupied by rebel sharp- 
shooters, who drove him and his family into the cellar, relates that, 
creeping out after dark to feed his cow, he encountered one of these 
men alone in the stable, and entered into conversation with him. 
He declared that he had been compelled to enter the army, and 
wept when he spoke of his wife and children, from whom he had 
been forced away ; he was anxious to be assisted in getting within 
our lines ; but that was impossible, as the intervening space was 
covered by the fire of the pickets of both armies. The next morn- 
ing our skirmishers advanced and killed or captured this entire 
party, and this man's rifle was found two-thirds filled with cartridges, 
showing that he had refused to fire at the Union troops. 

On Friday night the rebel army quietly withdrew from the town 
to the crest of the Seminary ridge, and at daylight our skirmishers 
drove out or captured their stragglers and pickets. It was truly a 


joyful morning to the citizens, who felt as if some dreadful incubus 
had been removed; and though it was .1 day of alarm from the 
apprehension thai the rebel batteries might open <>n the town, still it 
was evident that they were retreating and that relief was at hand. 
As soon as the town was clear of the rebel lines, supplies began to 
come in. and those in hospitals here were made a> comfortable as 
circumstances permitted; but there was still in the fields, — the scene 
of the first day's fight, — a large number who for two days more 
could uot be reached, and whose sufferings must have been, beyond 
description, severe. K. G. McCreary. 

The narrative of the General Field Agent is now 
resumed : — 

Two or three weeks now elapsed before a new force was organized 
for effort in the army, which was then on its way from the Potomac 
river to Warrenton City. Nearly the entire force of the Commission 
was directed to Gettysburg, and to the supply of the permanent sta- 
tions, so that but little material remained for a new effort, and as the 
old line of supply was broken up, and the army so constantly in 
motion, new machinery was required, and a new plan to be matured. 
The last week in July, however, everything was in readiness, and 
with the new four-horse wagon, compactly stowed with tents and 
store- of hospital supplies and religious reading, a party of Delegates 
left Washington for Warrenton Junction, over the "pike." Going 
into camp, the first night, near Fairfax Court-house, in company with 
a long train of wagons, heavily loaded with valuable goods, a circum- 
stance occurred, that for a time promised to change the plans of the 
Commission quite materially. About midnight a party of guerrillas, 
with oaths, and revolvers in hand, dashed into camp, ami were soon 
escorting the whole train, at a rapid pace, on the direct road to Rich- 
mond. A "station" at "Libby" seemed the most probable result 
of the adventure. But a kind Providence, just as all hope of rescue 
was failing, delivered them out of the hands of their enemies, and 
tlie\ were, as the morning dawned, started once more on their way 
rejoicing. On the I'd of August, too weary to go further, a tent was 
pitched near headquarters of the Army, at Germantown, where it re- 
mained as a useful station of the Commission until the 14th of Sep- 


tember. A footing secured, and with the prospect of a month of 
quiet rest for the army, several stations were at once established, — 
one at Warrenton City, one among the hospitals of the First Corps at 
Rappahannock, another at Bealeton, and after a few weeks a fifth in 
the Third Army Corps. The sick of the army were not retained in 
the field, but sent at once to the hospitals of Washington; so that for 
six weeks the attentions of the Delegates were mostly directed to the 
wants of the well. Many thousands of Testaments, hymn books, and 
religious papers were distributed throughout each corps, and meet- 
ings were organized and sustained at many places. 

At the chapel-tent at Bealeton chaplains' meetings were held 
weekly, twenty or thirty being sometimes present. It was the con- 
stunt aim of the Commission, as it had ever been, to do all in its 
power to assist, encourage, and strengthen the hands of these devoted 
men, who, through summer's heat and winter's cold, shared the 
perils and discomforts of the army life with those whom they desired 
to benefit, and who had in too many instances to stand up alone 
against an active opposition. 

At the tent in the Third Corps a most interesting scene was pre- 
sented, — the chapel being crowded at every service, soldiers coming 
from a distance to hear the truth proclaimed, and the Holy Spirit 
making this truth effectual to the conversion of many. The work at 
all of these stations, — each one useful and instrumental, we believe, 
in leading many souls to Christ, — was brought to an end in the mid- 
dle of September by another advance of the army, beyond Culpepper 
and to the banks of the Bapidan. 

Extensive rooms were secured in Culpepper for the office and 
warerooms of the Commission, and every preparation made for the 
battle that was each day expected. The cavalry was constantly in 
action, and every church in the village, besides the large Piedmont 
Hotel, was filled with their wounded and sick. Among these men, 
for many days, the Delegates found such opportunities for relieving 
distress as are seldom presented. Hundreds were supplied with food 
prepared at the Commission rooms, and taken from ward to ward by 
the Delegates themselves. Indeed in very many respects the work 
resembled that performed at the field hospitals in Falmouth five 
months before. Hundreds of letters were written for the feeble men, 
clothing and food were given to those found to be destitute, and reli- 


gious counsel and comfort freely bestowed. Daily prayers were beld 
in each ward of the hospitals, and an abundance of religious reading 
circulated. In addition to this, committees were appointed to visit 
different parts of the army with the supplies of papers as they were 
received, and many services were held in distant camps. As is the 
almost invariable custom of the Commission, a prayer-meeting was 
held each evening at the station, which soon became, as usual; a 
centre of great Interest. 

Very suddenly came the order to "advance," and in a very unex- 
pected direction. With scarcely time to send our superabundant 
stuns tn the cars, we were ordered off, and with a wagon loaded 
down heavily we started, upon what proved to be a must rapid and 
exciting retreat, into the line of wagons, — mules going on the run, 
flanked by columns of infantry, cavalry, and artillery ; men on foot 
and men on horseback; officers, soldiers, sutlers, and contrabands, all 
mixed up in this grand exodus, and all intent to reach the Eastern 
bank of the Rappahannock. Few scenes are more exciting than the 
retreat of the wagon-trains of an army, — the rapid run, the startling 
rumor, the sound of the approaching guns, the breaking wheel or 
overturn, the quivering bridges, poised high in air over some moun- 
tain stream, the deep "runs" where teams are "set" and left to the 
mercy of crushing wheels behind, give variety and interest tn every 
mile of the road. We started on Sabbath morning, and on Thursday 
reached Fairfax Court-house, with our wagon shorn of its beauty, 
bearing away visible sears from the exciting contest. Store.- wen 
safe, and men were all right alter a hearty meal and a day of sleep. 

" ( i ntreville Heights," the goal for which the armies were racing, 
was gained by the Army of the Potomac, and the rebels, satisfying 
themselves with the destruction of a railroad, slowly fell back to the 
Rappahannock. Some tedious days of uncertainty followed. The 
army, by slow stages, advanced, but with no expectation of meeting 
the enemy in force. In the last week of the month a station was 
established at Gainesville, but was soon moved thence to Manassas 
Junction, and the first week in November transferred to Warrenton 

Junction. A few days of suspense were usefully employed by the 
Delegates in making an extended distribution of religious reading 
and in holding evening meetings. The meetings were largely attended, 
and were blessed to the conversion of some souls. 


On the 7th day of November, after a sharp fight, the army crossed 
the Rappahannock and took up the old line of defence along the 
Rapidau. A party started for the field hospitals with a wagon-load 
of stores, and, after working two days among the wounded, went 
forward to Brandy, and established a new station. For the next 
fortnight the headquarters of the Commission were at Brandy Sta- 
tion. A very large quantity of reading-matter was there distributed, 
and from the station the clerical Delegates went out to distant camps 
to preach. 

Evident it was, however, that the campaign was not yet ended, 
and arrangements were perfected, so that the Commission could go 
with the army whenever it should again advance. Two four-horse 
wagons were carefully loaded, principally with condensed food, stimu- 
lants and clothing, and a party was selected from the Delegates to 
go forward. It was arranged that the remaining Delegates should 
return to Alexandria by rail, and be ready to open communication 
with the army at the first point of supply, wherever it might be. 
Either Acquia Creek or Fredericksburg was, by many persons, sup- 
posed to be the destination of the army. 

Early on Thanksgiving morning the troops were moving. The 
tents were struck, the horses harnessed, final arrangements made, and 
at noon we joined the long line of headquarter wagons, and started 
out upon a journey whose destination was veiled in utter obscurity. 
The next day the Rapidan was safely passed, and "Robinson's Tav- 
ern," a wooden structure at the intersection of two roads in the 
" Wilderness," was reached the following morning. Here everything 
came to a fall stop. The Third Corps, crossing the river a few miles 
to the right of us, were attacked on the second day, and a fight of 
unusual severity resulted. The wounded, numbering five or six 
hundred, were taken from the field and placed in ambulances, parked 
in a field about one mile from the Tavern. The weather was very 
cold, the nights being intensely bitter, and the condition of the 
wounded was truly pitiable. Blankets were unusually scarce, and 
in the morning it was a sad sight to see the chilled and shivering 
sufferers. A large fireplace was soon built, and all were busy pre- 
paring hot milk punch and hot coffee, or in taking it from wagon to 
wagon until it was too late to do more. Early in the morning the 
same course was pursued. Milk punch was given freely, by the re- 

ARMY OF T1IK POTOMAC. — 1863. 397 

quest and approval of the surgeons, and coffee, made nutritious with 
milk and sugar, was taken to all. In some eases the division wagon 
containing food and cooking utensils was delayed in coming to the 
hospital, so that many were almost entirely dependent upon the 
Christian Commission for food. ( >n Sunday and Monday most of 
tin 1 wounded were removed from ambulances and laid in hospital 
tents; bul the suffering from cold was still very great. All this time 
we were expecting the great battle would begin. Both armies were 
in position, and although the line of defence held by the enemy was 
vcrv strong it was expected an assault would be made, and we thought 
with sinking hearts of the unspeakable agony that must then ensue. 
Cut off entirely from any base of supply, food and forage already, in 
some places, beginning to fail, and the cold becoming more and more 
intense, we could not but hope most earnestly that the cup might 
this time pass away. 

I'm -day the order came to return. The wounded were placed 
again in ambulances, and we repacked our wagons ami took the 
place assigned to us at the head of the train, thus avoiding delay 
when coming to a halt at night. The Rapidan was recrossed in 
safety, and as the night came on the train was parked in a field 
near it- hanks. It was already late, and not a moment to he lost. 
A fire was kindled, water heated, buckets of milk punch prepared 
and taken to those most exhausted. Coffee and soda biscuit, care- 
fully husbanded for the occasion, were then distributed in all parts 
of tin' camp. Early in the morning the same work was repeated 
until the order to march was given. Another day's cruel march. 
Until near midnight cutting our way through almost impassable 
Swamps ami forests, at length, as we could get no further, we were 
ordered into park on a low, fiat marsh. An unpromising place it 
was. No wood, no water, and yet something mutt he prepared for 
those men, who, many of them starting off without a breakfast, have 
Undergone the pains of hunger all this long day, else they will surely 
perish. Wood is sought and found a quarter of a mile away, and 
brought on shoulders to the camp. A detail of soldiers is given, 
and they, after a long hunt in the darkness, return with pails of 
water, 'l'he lire is kindled, the water heated, ami brandy punch 
made, and taken from ambulance to ambulance, until at two o'clock 
in the morning it is declared that all have been reached. In the 


morning the promise is given us. that the train sli:ill not start until 
we have fed them all. More extensive arrangements for a breakfast 
are made, the remaining' barrels of crackers are opened, ami. with 
lmi coffee, distributed throughout the train. 

Brandy Station, left behind us just one week before, as we then 
hoped, forever, was welcomed as a link once more connecting us 
with a civilized world. One week previously we had gone forth 
with heavy loads and minds doubtful of the way before us. Now 
we returned with wagons empty ami hearts full of gratitude that we 
had been privileged to minister to so many suffering soldiers. A 
tent was pitched near to the ambulances, and until the wounded 
were loaded upon the ears the Delegates remained with them, and 
then, accompanying them to Alexandria, helped to convey them to 
comfortable beds at the hospitals. Such expressions of gratitude are 
seldom heard as fell from a hundred lips that night. The badge of 
the Christian Commission was a sure passport to the heart of any one 
of those who passed through that terrible ordeal during those ".-even 
days in the Wilderness." "Winter quarters" are at length ordered, 
the active campaign is closed, and the quiet winter days are to follow 
its months of toil and blood. 

Rev. H. O. Howland, writing from Windmill Point 
Hospital, Feb. 19, 1803, tints describes the first meeting 
held at that hospital, which opened the way for the 
subsequent religious work in the army: — 

Last Sabbath the brethren of the Christian Commission kept 
holy-day at Windmill Point Hospital. Leave was obtained to 
occupy a vacant cook-house as a place of worship. Three soldiers 
were kindly detailed to aid us in procuring a stove, seats, etc., for 
the house. A carpenter made me an arm-chair, and a table was pro- 
cured. With barrels sawed in two, and scantling and hospital bed- 
steads, we made seats enough and the house was ready. The rain 
which beat upon our tent as the morning dawned was most unwel- 
come, and led us to fear a failure. But God had in reserve for us a 
signal and glorious success. At 10 a.m. Brother Pitcher, a Delegate 
from Washington, preached, and forty-five were present. I was 
requested to preach at 2 p. M., and sixty came. In the evening we 


packed the house, and there were over two hundred present. It was 
:i me ting for prayer and conference, and after three hours it was 
difficult to close the meeting. Fifty-one rose to express a desire for 
the prayers of God's people. The Holy Spirit was there. Thesol- 
diers seemed overjoyed. Many sail! it was the first opportunity they 
had i njoyed of attending a religious service since being in the army. 
Many took once more a stand for God and showed their colors in 
the presence of their comrades. Both for the soldiers and the Dele- 
gates it was a joyful day. We have had a meeting every evening 
since, — good meetings every one. 

The following account of the prayer-meetings held at 
Stoneman's Station, in April, 1863, is from the report 
of Rev. Geo. E. Street. This station was well situated. 
very accessible to the camps, and during the seven weeks 
uf its existence maintained, as did all the other stations 
tit' the Commission, a prayer-meeting every evening: — 

At the second meeting ii seemed to us that the Lord hail a blessed 
work in store for us. The tent was crowded. We immediately 
procured another. That. too. was soon full. The first characteristic 
of the meetings was the penitent confession of backsliders. We 
spent many hours conversing with such. This was our order of 
exercises: Singing until the men were all packed in their seats; then 
prayer, reading of the Scriptures, and a short sermon of twi nl\ 
minutes: then the meetings were thrown open to all for an hour. 
There was usually great freedom. Sonic thrilling experiences were 
narrated, melting exhortations from returning backsliders or new- 
converts. At fops or roll-call we would close. Hut closing was no 
easy matter. The pronouncing of the benediction did not dismiss a 
number, who still remained to converse, to get tracts and Tes- 
tament- for themselves or others, or to impure the way of salvation. 
At last we added another tent, making four in all, accommodating 
nearly four hundred. Beyond this limit we hardly thought it advisa- 
ble t>> go; we therefore encouraged our lay helpers t<> establish 
meetings in their own regiments, which was done in several with 
great effect Cue pious captain, who met with us till he found no 


room for himself, started meetings which were blessed in the convey 

sion nt' sixtv in his regiment. For seven weeks the meetings were 
held every evening and always with the richest results. The last 
Sunday evening I attended there will never be forgotten. The tents 
were parked to suffocation, and about a hundred stood outside, whom 
a Delegate, Rev. Edwin Johnson, took off by themselves for a 
separate meeting in the open air. Never shall I forget that ex- 
pectant crowd of men, who sat eagerly devouring every word I 
uttered. Saints were anxious for sinners, and sinners were anxious 
for themselves. When the meeting was thrown open for all, a cap- 
tain got up and said that his colonel (M'Allister, Eleventh N. J.) 
had sent li i 111 over to deliver a note to the Christian Commission. He 
had never seen anything like this meeting in the army; hoped God 
would lie with us. The envelope contained forty dollars, a contribu- 
tion from his regiment. Every hill-top in our vicinity, on that 
blessed evening, resounded with praise. It seemed like another 
Pentecost. Little meetings were extemporized all over the fields; 
so that, 1 am told, one could walk nowhere without stumbling on a 
group of soldiers praying. 

Rev. C. E. Fisher gives the following description of 
the work at the Third Corps station, in September: — 

On Monday I came to this station and began my work. Here I 
have been now a full week. There are a great many troops around 
us. We distributed during the past week more than 2,700 papers, 
nearly 5,000 pages of tracts, 200 Testaments, nearly 200 miscellane- 
ous books, held eight meetings in one chapel tent, and several others 
in different parts of the corps. There is a very encouraging state of 
religious interest among the men who attend our meetings. Many 
are refreshed, and some are converted. The work is growing and 
spreading. Our work is affecting the chaplains very favorably. 
They are becoming more active and earnest, and our tent is a rally- 
ing point for all Christian labor in this section. 

The work at this station continued about three weeks, 
and increased in power until closed by the sudden move- 
ment id' the corps. Months afterwards it was found that 


the work of grace there begun was still continued, and 
thai eighteen prayer-meetings had been organized in 
differenl parts of the corps, and sustained by the soldiers, 
as one result of the influence of this station. 

The Assistant Field Agent, Mr. J. R. Miller, writes 
as follows from Bealeton, September 8, 1863: — 

General Meade and staff were at service last Sabbath morning. 
Two of his staff are known to be religious men, and take part in reli- 
gious services. 1 have noticed myself, — and Captain P., of General 
Meade'.- staff, remarked the same. — that there is a marked ehange 
in the observance of the Sabbath around headquarters during the 
pasl month. Every Sabbath grows stiller and quieter. I was at 
headquarters last Sabbath morning. It was the calmest and most 
like the Sabbath of any day I have spent in this army. I blessed 
God tor it. Flags were down, offices were closed, and none but the 
most important business was transacting. General Patrick called at 
our tent, com ersed tor a half hour, inquired concerning arrangements 
tor service during the day, selected some hooks, papers, etc., and 
then attended services himself, morning and afternoon, lie says. 
"Wehavejust got what we want. We have talked the matter of 
having services at headquarters) over many times, and have made 
efforts to have the end accomplished. Burnside tried it, and sent off 
tor ministers, hat the services never succeeded in awakening interest 
V we have the very thing we want, and we mean to keep it." 
Soldiers are becoming most deeply interested themselves at all our 
stations, and I believe that we have never had so much encourage- 
ment to work. At our chaplains' meeting last Saturday morning 
there were twenty-seven chaplains present. 

The following extracts, front a letter written by Rev. 
8. E. Fit/, to Mr. Demond, gives ;i view of stations at 
the front in August : — 

August 9th I came to this place t Bealeton ). The next day we 
pitched our large chapel tent, which will accommodate over two 
hundred men, and before night had established a "station" of the 



Christian Commission. Of this station I have had the charge up to 

this time. Bealeton is the name of a railroad station four miles from 
the Rappahannock river, and is now the principal supply depot of 
the army. This station was established not so much for working 
directly among the men of the army a> for furnishing a headquarters 
of tin Commission. Hither come all the soldiers' reading-matter and 
the hospital stores sent by the Commission to the army, and hence 
it is distributed to our other stations, viz., at Rappahannock Station, 
Third Corps Station, Army Headquarters, and Warrenton. The 
Delegates, as they come to the field, stop here, whence they are 
despatched to the other stations. We thus obviate the necessity of 
haying a large amount of supplies far away from the railroad, where 
they would be liable to loss in case of a sudden movement of the 
army. A few weeks ago we were ordered to be ready to move at 
ten minutes' notice, and since then we have kept things close. But 
the employment here has not been solely that of a forwarding agent. 
Situated as we are, at the present real terminus of the railroad, we 
have a good opportunity to influence nearly all parts of the army 
through large numbers of officers and men who frequent the place, 
on their way to and from Washington, or are here on business. & - 
ing our large tent, with its signs, " United States Christian Commis- 
sion," and having a moment or more to stop, they are continually 
coming in, and with a grasp of the hand tell how glad they are that 
the Commission is here. Seldom if ever do they go away empty- 
handed. They gladly take papers and 1 ks, from a single one up 

to two or three hundred, to distribute in their regiments. But our 
opportunity for good does not rest here. We have near us two small 
regiments and the wagon-train of the First Army Corps. Every 
evening we hold a prayer-meeting or have preaching. They are 
truly soldiers' meetings, attended and carried on by soldiers. They 
till our tent, for the love of the meetings, and we have proof that 
they get good. Our work thus tar seems to be chiefly to reinforce 
and draw out men who. as they say, " were church members at home." 
Some have not heard preaching before since joining the army. 
" These meetings are so like home.'' say they. Men come four miles 
on horseback to attend an evening prayer-meeting. We have near 
us an encampment of contrabands, who are employed about the 
depot. They come to us for primers, simple reading, etc.. in which 

ARMY OF THE POTOMAC. — 1863. 103 

we give them lessons. Here as every where they have brought their 
religion with them. We have meetings with them, and they quite often 
have "praise-meetings" by themselves. Our distribution of hospi- 
tal stores is on the increase. There is a great demand for diarrhoea 
and dysentery medicines. Extract of ginger, sweet-gum bark, black- 
berry brandy, wines, and syrups, are very efficacious. 

We have to do, for the must part, with well men in active life, yet 
with those who may at any moment be called on to fight again, as 
they did at Gettysburg, and very many to die. How can we as 
Christian men fail to press home to the soldier his need of Jesus to 
keep hi- soul from death? The army is everywhere open to the 
Commission. Officers of every rank, privates, contrabands, all hail 
our coming and presence. In General Patrick, Provost-Marshal 
General, and in Genera] Pleasanton, especially, do we find support. 
General Patrick is almost fatherly in his interest for us. He says 
the Commission must go with the army. The " God bless yon " of 
many a private proves their appreciation of the Christian Commis- 

The following extract, from ;i letter written by one of 

I he agents of the Commission, exhibits the work of n 
" picket station": — 

Two or three days before the army started for Mine Run, the Gene- 
ral Field Agent sent me off with six men and a chapel tent, without 
any definite instructions, except to put up the tent and work on the 
Sabbath. It rained pell-mell all day i Saturday). Had no informa- 
tion where anybody was. Went out to about where the first division, 
Second Corps, was afterwards encamped. Put up chapel tent, in a 
pouring shower, about nine o'clock in the evening. Lay down in the 
softest mud of Virginia. But the next day was perfectly beautiful. 
The tent was crowded three times with men hungry as wolves for the 

gospel. We had also a large number of open-air exercises, tin- ir 

four apiece, and thanked God that we had pushed out into the dark, 
since we all felt that we were led by His hand. I never rejoiced 
more over a day's work than that which we did in the muddiest of 
clothes, in thai unexplored -pot. feeling as seldom our weakness, but 
sustained by the unseen Hand. The next day the order came for the 


corps to advance, and we were barely able to reach Brandy Station 
iu time to join the party who wont with the army to Mine Run. 

The following extract from a report by Rev. C. P. 
Lyford, of four months' work at Camp Convalescent, will 
fairly represent that of the entire year. The number 
of men thrown together here, convalescents; paroled 
prisoners, and stragglers from, and constantly going to, 
every regiment in the service, varied from five to twenty 
thousand. Tin- was ever a most inviting and promising 
field for missionary effort and one which was thoroughly 
improved : — 

On the 18th of March the permanent agent arrived in the camp, 
with his wife, and immediately entered upon his duties. Religious 
services were held in the chapel tent, which was found to he altoge- 
ther too small to accommodate the crowds that were disposed to 
attend. The building oi' the chapel itself was soon commenced, and 
in a few weeks completed. Though it would contain more than five 
hundred it was vet too small, and, after it had been packed to its 
utmost capacity, the men would still gather around the door and 
windows, as long a- they could get within hearing, to listen to the 
word of life. A- soon as the dry summer weather came on the 
preaching service was held in the open air. seats being arranged in 
the beautiful pine-grove around the chapel, and here thousands 
heard the gospel daily. The autumn came again, the chapel had 
been enlarged so as to accommodate from ten to twelve hundred 
men. We shall not be aide to state anything like the exact amount 
ot' labor performed during our tour months' stay in this delightful 
[dace. Three meetings were held every day, without exception, — 
prayer-meeting in the morning, inquiry or class-meeting in the after- 
noon, and preaching every evening, except Saturday, when a general 
experience-meeting was substituted. This does not include the ser- 
vices that were constantly held in the hospital dining the week and 
on the Sabbath : and in addition to it all was the distribution of 
stores and immense quantities ot' reading-matter, personal conversa- 
tion and prayer with men in the barracks and hospital, burial ot' the 

Al'.MY OF THE POTOMAC. — 1863. 105 

dead, Bible-classes, temperance^meetings, etc. The fruits of this 
work must also remain in greal part unknown till "angels shout the 
harvest home," and yet many of these fruits appeared to cheer and 
encourage us. We ever felt, as did also the men, that at each meet- 
ing some were hearing the gospel that would never hear it again; 
that some were going direct from that meeting ti> the eternal world, 
and a great solemnity always pervaded our congregations. The first 
meeting that we held four men arose tor prayers: the next, ten ; and 
then the nunilier rapidly increased; ami while there, we do not know 
that a single day passed without many happy conversions to God. 
The number of earnest, deeply penitent seekers ranged all the way 
from live to one hundred and twenty-five every night Hon many 
were converted, how many carried their convictions with them and 
subsequently found Jesus, how many dying on the held of battle 
remembered that at Camp Convalescent they had been pointed to 
Christ, and there " looked ami lived." can never he known in this 
lite. The most interesting cases were constantly occurring, infidels 
were converted; drunkards were saved; backsliders were reclaimed; 
husbands, whose wives were praying for their salvation, sent home 
the glad tidings that at last they were ready to join them in ( Christian 
lite. The men. constantly going to their regiments and to different 
parts of the country, carried the tire with them, and other revival 
fires were kindled, and throughout the whole hind the results of this 
glorious work appear. 

Rev. B. F. Hamilton gives the following sketch 
of the work of the Commission at Camp Parole. An- 
napolis: — 

Camp Parole is the general rendezvous tor all the paroled soldiers 
of our army. There have been present during the summer about 
six thousand men. but the aggregate of all those who have stopped 
here tor a short period is much greater. They came directly from 
Richmond, weary, disheartened and destitute, having been robbed of 
everything valuable by their captors. The treatment they receive 
while prisoners of war greatly impairs the health of the men. ami 
consequently the hospital ha- been tilled with very sick patients. It 
ha- been our purpose to minister t<> the spiritual ami temporal wants 


of these unfortunate men. When "new recruits" arrive in camp, 
our first care is to see that they are supplied with Testaments. These 
are generally received with the remark, "I left mine in my knap- 
sack;"' or, "the rebs got mine;" but sometimes a well-worn copy is 
produced, with the observation, " I always carry mine here in my 
side pocket." That man generally inquires for the prayer-meetings. 
They are thus supplied with various little books and tracts written 
for soldiers and a variety of our best religious papers. These are 
gratefully accepted, and there is abundant reason to believe that seed 
has been sown in this way which has borne fruit. An interesting- 
young man, who has recently obtained a hope in Christ, said to me, 
"That tract (the 'Passport') you gave me the other day, led me to 
decide the matter at once." Another points to something he read 
in the "Flag Paper" as the means, by the blessing of God, of his 
conversion, while many have resolved to abstain from swearing after 
reading that valuable little tract " Don't Swear." A very readable 
library, containing over nine hundred volumes, and a reading-room, 
with fifteen daily and weekly papers, have been secured for the use 
of the men. But the most interesting and profitable part of the 
work here has been in laboring for the conversion of these men. To 
this end three prayer-meetings and one Bible exercise were held each 
week, besides the regular preaching services ou the Sabbath. Great 
efforts were made to talk with the men privately, and to impress 
upon them the importance of making religion a personal matter. 
The meetings were generally well attended and deeply interesting. 
It soon became necessary to give up the old chapel-tent, and a large 
booth was made. In this rude temple hundreds assembled to worship 
God. It was evident that the Holy Spirit, with his converting power, 
was present with us. Professing Christians were revived, backsliders 
reclaimed, and sinners awakened. Never have I heard more earnest 
exhortations or importunate prayers than from these war-worn sol- 
diers. They were not satisfied with the regular daily prayer-meet- 
ings, but little impromptu meetings were held under a neighboring 
tree, or in the adjoining woods. A thoughtless young man attended 
one of these little meetings out of curiosity, but before it closed he 
requested that some one would pray for him, and the next day he 
was rejoicing in hope. At the close of a very solemn meeting I 
walked to a secluded spot, to converse with an inquiring soldier, but 

ARMY OF Till: POTOMAC. — 1864. 107 

we found the place pre-occupied by a number of men who were 
wrestling with God in prayer for the conversion of some particular 
individuals. Perhaps there have been more marked instances of 
conversion in the hospital than in the camp. In making my usual 
rounds through the hospitals I found a uumber of rude men talking 
boisterously in a ward where a very sick man was lying. It seemed 
almost useless to introduce the subjeel of religion under these cir- 
cumstances, and after distributing some reading-matter to the men, 
and giving a word of encouragement to the patient, I was on the 
point of leaving the room, but a moment's reflection convinced me 
that 1 had not done my duty to that man. I returned to his bed- 
side, addressed a few general remarks to all in the room on the 
importance of making religion a personal matter, and then conversi d 
with the sick man; found thai he had no hope in Christ, lint was 
very anxious for his soul's salvation; tried to point him to the 
Saviour, and offered up a prayer in his behalf. To my surprise every 
man in tin' rot in kneeled during the prayer, with the exception of 
the sick man, and he, throwing his arms around my neck, exclaimed. 
"(on! bless yon! I will try to become a Christian." In a few days 
he died, rejoicing iu hope. 

[YEAR 1804.] 

No essential change in organization was needed in 
conducting the field work of the Commission during the 
early months of 1864, in which the army lay in winter 
quarters. Two experienced assistant field agents, ( '. W. 
Jenkins and Rev. E. F. Williams, personally superin- 
tended it. establishing fifteen stations, so located in the 
long line of encampments as to make every regimenl and 
battery easily accessible. From three to six Delegates 
were assigned to each of these, one of their number acting 
as the station agent. The work during the first four 
months of the year was almost entirely of a religious 
character. Meetings wore hold at each station, in a large 
chapel tent or room, every evening. Services were con- 



ducted in the camps on the Sabbath. Bible classes and 
Christian Associations were formed. Religious reading 
was distributed every week freely and thoroughly. An 
equally important work was accomplished by aiding 
chaplains in their arduous and responsible duties. Thi 
was done by providing each with a canvas "fly" or 
slue!, sufficiently large to cover a log chapel thirty feet 
long and twenty feet wide. "With this canvas covering 
was also given a sheet-iron stove and pipe, lumber for 
desk and table, hymn books for a choir, and books, 
letter-paper, ink, and pens, so as to make each building 
complete as a chapel and reading-room. 

In preparing for the active campaign, which promised 
to be one of unusual severity, important changes were 
made. The limits of the field assigned to the General 
Field Agent were extended, so as to include all forces 
operating against Richmond, while the permanent hos- 
pitals and camps in Maryland and Washington were 
placed under the control of the District Committee. 
Permanent agents were secured for each army corps. 
Strong four-horse wagons, with complete battle-field 
equipments, were provided, to enable the corps agents to 
keep with the troops in their marches, and to he promptly 
at hand when the field hospitals were opened. 

Early in the campaign the Individual Relief Depart- 
ment was organized, and placed in charge of experienced 
agents, whose duties were to answer all letters of inquiry 
received by the Commission, and attend to all business 
connected with the transmission of money or packages 
from soldiers at the front to their friends at home. This 
business rapidly increased as the year advanced. Thou- 
sands of letters were received from parents, wives, and 


sisters, earnestly imploring aid in finding some dear 
friend reported to be "killed, wounded, or missing." 
To answer these letters often involved a long and diffi- 
eult search, firs! at the regiment, then at the field hos- 
pital, then in the post hospital or camp. By the sys- 
tem adopted then' was, however, usually but little delay 
in learning the facts desired, and in sending the answer 
which was to confirm the heart's worst tears or to glad- 
den with news of safety and health. Thousands of 
packages, containing the effects of soldiers shot in battle, 
or dying in hospitals, were brought by comrades or 
Delegates to he sent by special messenger to Washington, 
whence they could be safely delivered by express. These 
were often but little mementoes of the heroic dead, — a 
pocket-knife, a diary, or well-worn Testament, — but 
they were precious beyond estimate. Money to the 
amount of many hundred thousand dollars was received 
during the year, from soldiers who could not leave their 
regiments for the purpose, and transmitted to its desti- 
nation by the agents of this department. Besides this, 
lists of the wounded at field hospitals were prepared for 
publication, and graves marked so that they could be 
identified should the remains be sought for removal to 

another resting-place. 

The average number of Delegates in the field was 
much larger than that of the last year. From January 
until the breaking up of the winter stations, the last 

week of April, the average' was aboul forty-live. In the 
months of May and June the number varied from one 
hundred to three hundred, a large proportion of these 
being " minute men," who came for special work al 

Fredericksburg, White House, and CityPoint. During 



the remainder of the year the number ranged from fifty 
to seventy-five. The intense heat of the summer, and 
the trying nature of the work, particularly at the corps 
stations, seriously affected the health of many Delegates 
and shortened their terms of service. The corps agents 
and business agents were, many of them, prostrated by 
sickness, leaving their fields to be filled by Delegates or 
to be abandoned. But there were always men ready to 
undertake the work, however irksome it might be. In- 
deed it was only by the efficient, self-sacrificing labors 
of many noble Delegates, who were ready to leave more 
congenial employment to assume the care of business 
posts, that the extensive relief operations of the Com- 
mission were sustained through these trying months. 

The amount of stores distributed also greatly exceeded 
that of previous years. But little was required during 
the winter months in the army hospitals, but when the 
campaign oj>ened in May, an almost unlimited demand 
was created. In anticipation of this a steam-tug, schooner, 
and barge were chartered to transport the stores and 
wagons of the "supply section" of the Commission. 
This section landed its stores at Belle Plain, Port Koyal, 
White House, and City Point, as each place was success- 
ively the base of supply for the army in its march 
toward Petersburg. Thirteen wagons and sixty horses 
were employed in transporting supplies and in equipping 
the corps sections on this campaign. Besides these means 
of transportation, owned by the Commission, the use of 
the government mail boats was freely granted, by the 
favor of Surgeon-General Barnes, so that as many as 
three hundred boxes were taken in a single trip. The 
list of stores distributed on this campaign represents a 


variety <>f over two hundred different articles. During 
the months of May, June, and July, there were, among 
other things, distributed by the Delegates in person to 
the soldiers who needed them, over 14,500 shirts, 10/400 
pairs drawers, 11,500 pairs socks, 9,000 handkerchiefs, 
23,000 pounds of meats, 51,000 pounds of corn starch, 
farina, and crackers, 28,290 cans of milk, 7,300 pounds 
of cocoa and chocolate, 1,800 pounds of tea, 61,700 cans 
of fruits and jellies, 17,300 bottles of stimulants, 1,000 
boxes of oranges and lemons, 35,000 rolls of bandages, 
3,000 pads, 1,252 pairs of crutches, 200 barrels of vege- 
tables, 300 tuns of ice, and 24,000 quires of note paper 
and envelopes. 

The following report of the General Field Agent gives 
somewhat in detail the plans and operations of the 

At tin' opening of the year LSiU the Army of the Potomac was at 
rest in winter quarters. Its vast encampments covering valley, hill, 
ami plain for many miles, comfortable, symmetrical, clean, adorned 
with gigantic arches and groves of evergreen, swarming with healthy, 
vigorous men, at whose hands the winter hours dragged heavily, 
supplied a wondrously inviting field for the highest and noblest work 
of the Christian Commission. 

Brandy Station, on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, was the 
army base; and, being but a mile from headquarters, with the First 
Corps but a few miles to the Westward, Kilpatrick's Cavalry and the 
Second Corps a few miles to the South, the Third and Sixth Corps 
close at hand upon the North, and the Fifth Corps easily accessible 
along the line of railway, was selected as the most titling location 
for the Commission supply station. 

It was resolved, in beginning the winter's work, to reach in a 
thorough and effective manner every regiment, battery, and squadron 
in the army, giving to each a regular supply of good religions lend- 
ing, comprising Bibles, Testaments, Soldiers' Hymn Hooks, religions 


papers, of all denominations and from all sections of the country, 

tracts and books, expressly prepared for this circulation ; and also, 
by establishing stations, each provided with a comfortable chapel- 
tent t to give to every man an opportunity of hearing the preaching 
of the Word. This plan included, besides the accustomed features 
of the Commission work, one entirely new, and which, while calling 
for a great outlay of funds and labor, promised a. rich reward. This 
' was nothing less than a plan to furnish the chaplains of each brigade 
in the army with the means of providing themselves with a commo- 
dious and comfortable place of worship. For two long winters, owing 
to the expense of chapel-tents, and the great difficulties attending trans- 
portation, the chaplains of the army had, with very 1'ew exceptions, 
been obliged to forego the great and almost indispensable advantage 
of having in their regiments a suitable place where they could 
collect the men under their charge for divine worship. It was a 
deprivation sorely felt by faithful men, left as they were 
almost helpless, at the very time when they whose spiritual guides 
they were needed their guidance most. The way in which this most 
desirable end was to be attained was by mutual effort on the part 
of the soldiers and the Commission, the one building such part of 
the church as they were able, the other completing the edifice. The 
great difficulty had always been to secure material for the roof. The 
walls could be put up with logs and poles, the floor and seats com- 
fortably prepared, but by no possibility could the material for a 
roof, in the army, be secured. The Commission, therefore, to com- 
plete buildings thus tar advanced, proposed to provide a large sheet, 
or "fly" of canvas, bound firmly with rope, and having cords to 
fasten it to the walls. To make the gift more complete, music books 
for the choir and a large stove, with pipe, was also furnished. This 
proposition was joyfully received alike by chaplains, officers, and 
men; and brigades vied with each other to see which should have 
the most beautiful structure. 

The field agents iu charge of the prosecution of this plan, Rev. C. 
W. Jenkins and Rev. E. F. Williams, very soon had fifteen well- 
arranged stations, so located as to reach every part of the army with 
their influence. All of these had chapels, or some convenient place 
of worship. The stations situated in the towns of Warrenton and 
Culpepper used deserted churches for this purpose. Sixty coverings 


■ 1 864. 


for chapel walls were also issued to chaplains in all parts of the 
army; and almost, as by magic, beautiful temples, most tastily 
planned and decorated, sprang up in the midst of the camps. 

From these stations, and from these chapels, an influence, more 
powerful than any human tongue can tell, went forth. At every 
station of the Commission, and in very many of the brigade chapels, 
meetings for the worship of God were held each night, besides 
meetings for the study of the Bible, which, in some stations, were 
held daily ; and at all the presence of the Divine Spirit was mani- 
fest in the conviction and conversion of men. 

The stations of the Commission were all, with the exception of 
those in the villages, constructed upon the same plan. The large 
chapel-tent, beautifully proportioned, of white canvas, with an arched 
awning over us broad door, and the white chapel-flag floating above 


it, was the crowning feature of the station. Within, besides the 
closely-arranged seats, was a table, to be used in the day-time as a 
counter for books and papers, and as a writing-table for such sol- 
diers as might desire to use it. Sometimes a '•Imnk" was placed in 
one corner for the use of the Delegates, or any visitors who might 
there chance to spend the night. Besides this tent was 6tie wall-tent, 
and sometimes two, small, but well floored and well arranged, and 
u-rd for kitchen, dining-room, and lodging. Three Delegates were 
usually at each station, — one of them at least being a clergyman. 
'I'lir cooking tor the station was sometimes done by a detailed soldier, 
but more frequently by the D.h gates themselves, each taking his turn. 


The work performed at the station is of a varied nature. Early 
in the morning two of the Delegates, taking an armful of papers 
and books, go to some regiment or battery in their field, perhaps a 
mile distant, and distribute these to the soldiers they meet, seeking 
out the sick, if there be any, and giving an invitation for all to come 
to the evening meeting, or making an appointment for an open-air 
meeting. By personal conversation they exhort the soldiers with 
whom they come in contact to live holy lives, appealing to their 
better nature against the various forms of sin which assail them. 
At the tent the Bible-class is held, — in some cases forty or fifty sol- 
diers attending. In the course of the day many visitors come to the 
station, — chaplains, to get reading for their men or some delicacy 
for a sick man ; officers, for a copy of their home paper or a book 
from the library ; soldiers, for reading, or perhaps a towel or house- 
wife, or perhaps with anxious minds, desiring to talk with the man 
of God about the way of salvation. So the day passes, each hour 
filled with busy work, which, although not recorded on earthly 
tablets, leaves an impress for eternity. 

As the evening hour approaches the soldiers from all directions 
may be seen flocking to the chapel. Here a soldier who, alone, is 
turning his feet toward the tabernacle, there a group of eight or ten 
from a distant camp. The tent is soon filled, every seat and every 
foot of standing-room occupied. The service begins ; the old time- 
honored hymn is followed by the earnest prayer, the tearful exhorta- 
tion; the anxious ones rise amid their fellows, asking prayers that 
they too might receive eternal life. Yes, in that lowly tabernacle, 
in the midst of camps and of warlike men, is found a sweet foretaste 
of the coming heaven. 

It has been attempted by some to number those who gained a 
knowledge of Jesus at these stations, but it seems labor spent in 
vain to do this. God has set his seal upon them, aud "The Lord 
knoweth them that are His." Indeed, by no possible array of figures 
or statistics can the influence of these winter stations be exhibited. 
None can ever know how much of sin they have prevented ; how 
many despondent, doubting Christians have been encouraged and 
strengthened; how many seeds of Divine truth, sown in hearts seem- 
ingly unmoved, were destined some future day to bring forth perfect 
fruit. None can reckon the value of that comfort given to the faith- 

ARMY OF THE POTOMAC. 1864. 1 1 •"> 

ful soldier, who, in his hard pilgrimage, gained in these tents of 
prayer the Delectable Mountains, and caught a view of the Celes- 
tial City. None can tell how many weary, heart-sick boys have 
found in these rooms the sympathy and love their souls longed for, 
as though again within the charmed circle of home. 

In such labors as these the months passed quickly. The warm 
days of spring came again, the roads hardened, inspections of troops 
and grand reviews became frequent, the Lieutenant-General appeared, 
and raised his new flag at Culpepper. The old army corps were 
re-arranged, and we could not shut our eyes to the fact, — the fearful 
fact, — that all these pleasant scenes must end, to be replaced by 
scenes of blood and battle. One by one the stations were removed. 
It was a touching sight to witness the emotions displayed, as, for the 
last time, the soldiers gathered in their accustomed place, and lin- 
gered, unwilling to tear themselves away from the spot which had 
become so dear, so precious to their souls. 

It was decided to organize the entire force of the Christian Com- 
mission for the active campaign into sections, each being in charge 
of an experienced agent, and being, as far as possible, complete in 
itself. One of these was to be attached to each army corps in the 
Army of the Potomac; one to Burnside's corps, which, it was then 
expected, would act independently upon a naval expedition ; one 
with the Army of the James, which was collecting in the vicinity of 
Fortress Monroe and Yorktown ; and one to act as a supply section, 
charged with the duty of opening communication at the earliest 
possible moment with the sections in the army after an engagement. 
The Ninth Corps was eventually joined to the Army of the Potomac, 
so that when the campaign began our organization stood thus:- — 
Section with Second Corps, Rev. C. W. Jenkins in charge, two 
wagons, heavily loaded with stores, and five Delegates; section with 
Fifth Corps, Rev. E. F. Williams in charge, one wagon and six 
Delegates; section in Sixth Corps, Mr. Jaa. A. Worden in charge, 
one wagon and five Delegates; section with Ninth Corps, Mr. F. E. 
Shearer in charge, one wagon and seven Delegates; section with 
Army of the James, Tenth and Eighteenth Corps, Mr. J. R. Miller 
in charge, one wagon and ten Delegates; supply section, Mr. II. H. 
Clark in charge. This organization, with few modifications, was 


maintained throughout the campaign, and proved to be well adapted 
to the exigencies of the work. 

Thus, our preparations made, our stations removed, we had, on 
the 1st of May, freed ourselves from the incumbrances of the 
winter, and were ready, in " light marching order," to start at a 
moment's notice upon the expected " advance." The order came at 
night on the 3d of May. Swiftly it sped along the lines from camp 
to camp, from corps to corps. Before that potent word, as in a 
twinkling, all was changed ; where lay the winter's camp, in all its 
peculiar beauty, but broken walls and blackened posts remained; 
while the close columns, marching silently forward through the 
shadows of the night, throwing back from polished gun and bayonet 
blade a few reflected gleams of moonlight, were all that told of the 
winter's rest, all that foretold the coming strife. The Rapidan was 
safely crossed, the bridges taken up behind us; and then, in the 
close tangle of the " Wilderness," began the conflict. Joining the 
flying hospitals of each corps during the days of the "Wilderness" 
battles, each section was vigorously at work. Pitching a little tent 
near the hospital grounds, some of the Delegates, preparing a fire- 
place and bringing wood and water, made large camp-kettles full 
of coffee, beef soup, and milk punch ; while others, taking wash- 
basins, soap, bandages, and sponge, with which they came provided, 
busily labored among the bloody, fainting men, who lay in rows 
beneath the canvas awnings, and under the trees, and along the 
roads. On all sides are cases of distress, — this one calling for water, 
that one for change of posture or dressing for his wound; here one in 
the chill of death, anxious to send a last message to the home friends, 
or to hear once more the words of prayer. What wonder, then, that 
some, forgetting everything but that unspeakable distress and want 
about them, labored until they sank fainting from fatigue? Working 
by day, marching by night, exposed to rain and cold and danger, 
cooking food for the tarnishing, binding the wounds of the suffering, 
cheering with Christian consolation the despondent and the dying, 
doing a thousand acts of kindness, as soon forgotten as performed, 
these Delegates and agents of the Commission staid at their posts 
through all those days of fighting and marching, which at length 
brought the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the James 

ARMY OF THE POTOMAC. — 1804. 417 

together, on either side of the Appomattox, before the strong works 
of Petersburg. 

A great and very important work was done throughout this cam- 
paign by the supply section, and by Delegates, who labored only at 
the various posts which were used as temporary depot hospitals. On 
the Nh of May, immediately after the battle of the Wilderness, the 
wounded were placed in long trains of ambulances and army wagons, 
and taken to the city of Fredericksburg, on their way North. Two 
sections of the Commission, the sixtli and ninth, attended them on 
the march, and remained with them until relief came by way of 
Belle Plain. In the course of the day the army of wounded men, 
variously estimated at from ten to fifteen thousand, was poured in 
upon the rebel city. Every church and hall, court-house and theatre, 
with whole blocks and streets of stores and dwelling-houses, were 
taken for hospitals. With only a small corps of surgeons, almost 
entirely destitute of food and medical supplies, having but few men 
compel, ni to act as nurses and attendants, their condition was pitia- 
ble and wretched in the extreme. The agents and Delegates who 
were with these men, found everything which they had in their 
heavily-loaded wagons precious beyond estimate. Barrels of crackers, 
sugar, coffee, boxes of milk, brandy, rags, and bandages, soap, chloro- 
form, plaster, all so carefully selected, were needed to save the very 
lives of men. Literally, thousands of sufferers received from these 
stores, for two or three days, nearly all the sustenance they had. A 
fine large mansion, furnished throughout, but deserted by its owners 
and occupied only by slaves, was taken to be used as headquarters 
of the Christian Commission, in anticipation of the corps of minute 
men expected. They were soon on the ground, — a noble army of 
surgeons, clergymen, lawyers, and merchants, coming equipped for 
work, to the number of over two hundred men. The agent in charge 
of the supply section had succeeded in his duties, and was the first 
to land -lore- and men at Belle Plain, the new base, and was able 
to minister to a thousand wounded men, who had reached the shore 
before any other relief organization was on the ground. lie brought, 
besides tents and cooking utensils, an additional number of wagons 
and horses, and a large stock of supplies, so that very soon the 
Commission had most efficient stations both at Fredericksburg and 
m Belle Plain. 



The corps of Delegates at Fredericksburg were organized in such 
a way as to insure the careful visitation of every hospital in the city 
and suburbs. A store-room was opened, and the supplies received 
from Belle Plain were carefully issued, the Delegates in nearly every 
case superintending their distribution to the needy men. Committees 
were appointed to watch for the trains of ambulances from the front, 
ready to give nourishment to the wounded, or assist in their removal 
to their rude hospital, to see that the hospitals were supplied with 
ice and straw, and to search the streets and houses for any men who 
might have been overlooked in the great throng. The Delegates, 
under the direction of the corps captains, spent the day in assisting 
the surgeons and nurses, in writing letters for the men, and holding 
prayers, — in some cases night and morning, in other hospitals but 
once a day, — in every ward. Many of the Delegates, being surgeons 
of known ability, were put in charge of hospitals by the Medical 
Director, and others were made ward-masters, having oversight of 
the army nurses. In many ways, for two long weeks, the Delegates 
worked night and day among the wounded. Loads of straw were 
" foraged," and brought to the city for bedding; loads of ice, found 
in the ice-houses of the vicinity, were distributed: many tons of 
clothing, fruit, and hospital stores, were brought from Belle Plain, 
and hundreds of meetings and funerals attended. 

For several days the wounded were sent, as fast as transportation 
could be obtained, over the mountain roads to Belle Plain ; but the 
roads became so bad that the lives of men were endangered. The 
government finally rebuilt the railroad from Acquia Creek to Fal- 
mouth, and the- men were then transported very comfortably and 
safely to the boats. When the order to evacuate the city came, a 
tent of the Commission was pitched at Falmouth, near the railroad, 
where the wounded were being loaded upon cars, and kettles of farina, 
coffee, and lemonade prepared and given to the poor sufferers. Many 
who were near to death were brought there, and left upon the ground 
in the cold rain throughout the night. Several died there, and 
doubtless many more would have died had it not been for the con- 
stant care bestowed upon them by the Delegates of the Commission, 
and the food and stimulants given. A constant stream of men, halt, 
lame, and blind, in ambulances, on crutches, on stretchers, poured 
for days out from the streets of Fredericksburg, across the long pon- 


toon, up to the railroad station. Boon all had gone, and on the 28th 
of May the "dolorous city" was given up to its inhabitants. 

Leaving Belle Plain when that post was broken up, ami remain- 
ing bu1 a few hours at Port Royal, the supply section was next estab- 
lished at White House, where, for two weeks, was a scene of remark- 
able activity. Before any wounded had reached this point a fine 
station had been established by Mr. Miller, who now joined the Army 
of the Potomac with his section, and after the arrival of the supply 
section fifty Delegates were ready for any work. Having obtained 
notice of the first long train of wounded coming from the battles on 
the Pamunky, and learning that for thirty hours they had, many of 
t^m, been without food, preparations were made to supply them 
from the wagons. It was found that, the bridge being out of repair 
it would be necessary for them to lie still another night in the ambu- 
lances, about two miles from the station, and across the river. 

The steam-tug chartered by the Commission to tow a schooner, 
loaded with stores, from Washington, was loaded with tents, kettles] 
crackers, milk, etc., and a station set up on the other side of the 
over. Towards morning the long train of winded arrived a pite- 
ous sight, weary and faint from pain and loss of blood; thirsty 
hungry, and cold, the poor men could not restrain their groans and 
cries for help. Very soon the hot coffee and milk biscuit were passed 
from wagon to wagon, while with basin, sponge, bandages, and gentle 
touch, the Delegates, crawling into the narrow ambulances, bathed 
th « face, combed out the hair, removed the hard, offensive bandage 
Prom the wound, and put clean, cooling linen in its place. A thou- 
sand men were doubtless relieved in these ways during the few hours 
this station remained. 

But, in the mean time, the battles of Cold Harbor had been fought, 
and many wounded were coming in at all hours of the day and night! 
An in,, no,,., hospital of tents was established at White House, and 
'li- corps of Delegates were divided into companies and assigned to 
the different corps hospitals. Tents were erected by the Commission, 
at which soldiers could have their wounds dressed and be supplied 
with nourishing food. Thousands were in this wav supplied 
with coffee and soup, papers and books, letter paper and pencils. 
Hundreds of packages, which otherwise would have been lost, con- 
taining the effects of soldiers who had been killed, were taken to 


forward to their friend.-'. Delegates were also assigned by the Medi- 
cal Director to go upon the hospital transports, — in some eases having 
the entire charge of nursing and feeding the wounded, who filled the 
boats throughout the voyage. The sections at the front were also 
kept well supplied from this station, a train of four-horse wagons 
passing back and forth between the base and the Hying hospitals. 

Another " flank movement," — and again the station was broken 
up, and moved by water down the river, and up the James, landing 
at City Point on the 15th of June. Here began a work, which, in 
one respect, that of place, was permanent. Although many battles 
were fought, and many changes occurred, still the location ami posi- 
tion of several stations were the same at the close of the year as 
those established in the month of June. City Point was through all 
this time the base of supply ; the sections, with few changes, re- 
mained with their corps, and the work of the Commission went 
steadily forward. Stations were already established at Bermuda 
Hundred and Point of Rocks, the latter being an important station 
until the close of the year. 

From the 1st of July until the 1st of December, from eight to 
ten stations were in full and successful operation. One in each army 
corps, supplied with a wagon and horses for independent transporta- 
tion, moved constantly with the hospitals, and was the Commission's 
headquarters for that corps, — other stations, depending upon this for 
support, being established from time to time as they were needed. 
Th".-v -latinos were generally manned by six or eight Delegates, and 
had a large chapel "fly" neatly pitched, — beneath which, in the 
day-time, stores were distributed, and in the evening prayer-meetings 
were held; — and, in addition, two or three smaller tents for the 
accommodation of Delegates. 

During the months of July and August, the heat being excessive, 
and the exposure of our troops being great, both from the frequent 
battle- and the damp trenches, a large quantity of supplies, beyond 
what Government furnished, was needed, and each station was sup- 
plied liberally with hospital stores, vegetables, and ice, for distribu- 
tion. The soldiers, worn out by the excessive fatigue of the cam- 
paign, fell, many of them, a prey to disease, and the hospitals were 
always full. The regular supply of religious reading was again 
attempted, and, although often interrupted by the frequent move- 

\i;mv OF THE POTOMAC. — 1864. 421 

ment of troops, became a source of great good. In nearly every 
station a prayer-meeting was held each evening, and most precious 
seasons they were to many a bouI. Revivals of great power followed 
the labors at nearly every station. Battle-field stores were kept at 
all times on band : and at an hour's notice the station could be 
removed, packed upon the wagon, and ready for a march. The 
Delegate in these stations had a twofold work, first, the systematic 
dailj \ isitation of the field hospitals : si cond, distribution of reading- 
matter, ami preaching in the open air to the soldiers in the trenches 
and along the lines. In visiting the field hospitals from day to day, 
every person needing special assistance was sought ent, and if he 
needed food, or clothing, or book, or letter written, or words of cheer 
and Christian counsel, thej were freely given. Whenever a battle 
occurred, the Delegates being near were promptly on the ground, 
ready to give such help as they could render. These labors were 
not performed, however, without many drawbacks and difficulties. 
Sicknes- deprived n> from time to time of our most experienced 
agents and Delegates, while the sultry weather made it almost im- 
possible for Delegates coming from the North to undergo the physical 
exertion involved in their arduous work. But a kind Providence 
led us on, step by step; when the way before us was the darkest 
then the Master seemed to interpose in our behalf, and not a 
week passed without giving fresh cause tin- thanksgiving and new 

S i after the occupation of City Point by our forces a depot 

hospital was established on a broad plain above the Appomattox, 
about one mile from the .lames river. Here a station of the Com- 
mission Was at once erected. This hospital partook somewhat of the 
nature of both a field and general hospital. It was really a collec- 
tion of live distinct hospitals, in which from four to ten thousand 

men were collected. Here was always a tield for Christian Com- 
mission labor, more extensive than we could ever cover. Hundreds 
dying, thousands suffering, needing aid ami help of every kind, — 
surely the Delegate was never at a loss for want of work to do. 
From fifteen to thirty Delegates were constantly employed at this 
great station during the remainder of the year. 

The hospitals themselves were simply canvas tents, pitched upon 
wide Streets, on what had been a cultivated field. In the Miltrv 


days of summer the dust became almost suffocating, and greatly 
increased the sufferings of the patients. To remedy this a steam 
fire engine was generously loaned the Commission by the city of 
Baltimore, which, stationed near the river bank, sprinkled the entire 
camp, laying the dust and purifying the whole atmosphere. It 
was m real blessing to thousands, giving to every one fresh courage. 
Early in July a large chapel tent, sixty feet in length, was put up 
at this station, and when the weather became cold a large frame 
chapel was built to take its place. In these meetings were held, 
every afternoon and every evening, for many months, and during 
all this time were fully attended. Indeed, a constant revival was 
in progress here, and it is believed over five hundred souls were 
born again. It was a strange and interesting sight, — these meetings 
thronged with soldiers, heads bandaged, anus in slings, pale faces, 
crutches and canes in all parts of the house, — an earnest, tearful 
band of worshippers. Every week this band was broken, — some 
called back to the front, some to go to the more Northern hospitals, — 
but there were always more to take their place, and the room re- 
mained full. A fine, large reading-room, with writing-tables and a 
circulating library, was here in operation nearly six months. 

As the hot days of summer and the cool, delightful days of autumn 
wore away, all looked forward with high hopes to the winter season, 
when, for a time, the soldiers would be in quiet camps, and when 
once more chapels might be raised, and every regiment blessed with 
the gospel brought to their very doors. 

The order for winter quarters, long delayed, came at length. Ten 
thousand axes in a few days laid low whole forests of pine, and, as 
by magic, the little huts and cabins rose from the very ground, until 
city after city was complete, stretching from the Lynchburg Kail- 
road below Petersburg, around that besieged city, across the Appo- 
mattox and the James, to within five miles of Richmond, — a line, 
bristling with forts, of more than fifty miles in extent 

The following account of one day's labor at a winter 
station is given by Rev. A. Fuller, of Maine: — 

Early in March, 18(5-1, I found myself at the office of the Christian 
Commission, in Culpepper, duly commissioned as a Delegate, and 


awaiting an assignment to duty from the agent in charge. 1 confess 
ti> a feeling almost of dismay when I thought of going out to actual 
work among such men as the soldiers at first appeared to be. A 
single incident will show how I got rid of my fears and learned to 
love tin- work. I had been assigned to a station just established in 
tin' battery brigade of the First ( 'orps, which comprised a body of 
nearly a thousand men, who bad scarcely heard a sermon or a prayer 
since entering the army, for, as is well known, the batteries have no 
chaplains. The work looked very bard and unpromising to me. 
But ii must be tried, and with much prayer and many doubts and 
fears I went to my field. We pitched our chapel lent and bad 
notice of religious service in the chapel read at "retreat" in all the 
batteries, and a good number of well-disposed or curious men gave 
us an encouraging audience for our first meeting, lint now, to make 
any real progress, there must lie personal intercourse with the men 
in their tents. They must be talked with seriously and earnestly 
about their souls, and personally invited to come to the meetings. 
This seemed a hard tiling for me to do, but I resolved to try to do it ; 
so the next morning, after much prayer for strength and special 
guidance, I took a bundle of tracts and papers in my haversack and 
started for one of the batteries. Unfortunately, as it then seemed to 
me, it was the hour of " water-call," and most of the men were out 
with tin' horses. Accordingly I got along with my visits very fast, 
finding but few to talk with, and even these I was feeling like hurry- 
ing by, with merely a few words of common talk and a casual invita- 
tion to our meeting. In this very unsatisfactory way I had been 
nearly the whole round of neat log huts, and was thinking of escap- 
ing back io my tent, with the excuse that Providence had not favored 
me this time, when, as I approached the last hut, I beard shouts of 
laughter, mingled with the loudest and most violent cursing. Here 
were evidently men enough, but what could I do there? My first 
impulse was to pass on and leave them entirely, but then were not 
these just the men I came out to find? What excuse had I for 
leaving them ? Willi this thought I knocked at the door. A loud, 
rude voice, with an oath, bade me"Comein." I entered at once, 
and found about a dozen men lounging on bunks and stools, or 
squatted on the floor, and just then engaged in a sharp dispute about 
some point in a lj:i hh ■ of cards they were playing. My entrance 


evidently confused them not a little, and <me of their number imme- 
diately apologized for the rude reply he had made to my knock, by 
saying he thought it was one of the "boys." Meanwhile they each 
laid aside their cards and returned my greeting civilly, offering me 
at the same time a seat by the fire. As I took the proffered seat I 
remarked to them, inquiringly, that they seemed to be enjoying camp 
life. "Yes, in our way, chaplain; you see it is a fine place here to 
develop moral character." This he said half jestingly, and vet in a 
tone of such subdued sadness that it interested me at once. " Well," 
said I, " 1 think that may be very much as we make it. To the 
man who does his duty in camp it is a good place for moral growth." 
" Yes, chaplain, but it's a hard place to live as one ought to, in the 
army." " That's so," " that's so," went sadly round the whole group. 
"And yet a man can be a true Christian in the army?" "Yes." 
" You have known such?" "Yes." "And you think all the more 
of such men's religion, that they maintain it under such difficulties?" 
" Yes ; but we are not religious, and it is very bard for us. We need 
amusements, and what can we do but play cards?" "Would you 
prefer reading?" "Very much; but how can we get it?" "Well, 
I have some for to-day ; and when you want more, come to my tent 
and you shall have it. Besides, we are to have meetings at the 
chapel tent every evening; come up there and we will talk more of 
these things. You do have a great many temptations in the army, 
I know, but for that very reason you ought to be earnest Christian 
men, to iv>i.~t such temptations." "Yes, chaplain; but it is hard 
starting here." "True, my dear friend, but isn't it harder not to 
start? It is a hard place to live like a Christian, but isn't it a harder 
place to live without God and without prayer?" "Yes, you are 
right, there, chaplain ; and I sometimes think I will do better. The 
folks at home are praying for me." " Well, I am glad to hear you 
say that. If fathers and mothers and wives pray for us, we ought to 
pray for ourselves. Will you come to our meeting to-night?" "Yes, 
yes," said all. "We are glad you are come among us, chaplain; 
wc have need to be better men ; but I haven't heard a sermon since 
I came into the army, — over two years." As I bade them good- 
morning, many a cordial voice said, "Come and see us often, chap- 
lain ; we love to hear you talk, and if we don't do as well as we ought, 
we do think of these things." 

AKMY OF THE POTOMAC. — 1864. 425 

1 u. iii away from that hut with ;t great burden off my heart, 
for 1 found the soldiers had hearts easily reached by straight-for- 
ward, i lain dealing. I found, too, where the " Revival in the Array 
of tli, Potomac" was; for from thai very day it began in our own 
brigade, and through the whole time of my service th< re was scarcely 
a 'day thai some new inquirer did not appear. I could understand, 
then, those glowing accounts I had read of what the Lord was doing 
among the soldiers. The Spirit of the Lord was there; the revival 
was there; only it wanted earnest, patient men in go down among 
the tents :inil find it, just where it was, in the hearts of common 
soldiers. There was a glorious revival, and many a new witness for 
Christ was found; net a tew of whom, 1 afterwards heard, sealed 
their testimony with their lives. 

Rev. Thomas A. Leete, in charge of Mountain Run 
Station, in the Artillery Brigade, Second Corps, writes 
thus of tlif work done there in the winter months: — 

In the light artillery there are no chaplains. No religious services 
nt' a public nature are held. Should it lie so? Many a soldier has 
told me that he has not heard a sermon tor years, — in some instances 
for three years. The consequences are obvious; the ungodly become 
bold in wickedness, and professing ( Christians, to a lamentable extent, 
backslide. When services commenced in our brigade, live weeks 
since, there were not ten soldiers, in the six batteries composing the 
brigade, that stood ready to engage heartily in Christian duties. 
Not that among the live hundred men there were not more than ten 
that were aiming to lead a Christian life: hut so low was the state 
of religion that no one felt like encouraging another. No prayer- 
meetings were held, and if a hymn of praise was sung there were 
many who would jeer and ridicule. But since the Christian Com- 
mission tent has been erected in front of the batteries, the change 
has been wonderful. We firsl sowed most plentifully the good seed 
of truth among the batteries and in the tents, and withal spent much 
time in personal conversation with the cannonei rs. This, in connec- 
tion with a public service in our chapel tent each night, began to 
act a- leaven. Serious thought was awakened, and very soon serious 
inquiry. The importance of prayer was urged upon professing 


Christians, and very soon the promise was verified, " Ask and ye 
shall receive." For the first two or three weeks the work was inter- 
rupted somewhat by a movement of the batteries, at the battle of 
Morton's Ford, and some other changes ; but for the last ten days, 
every night, when an appointment is made for prayer or preaching, 
our tent is full to overflowing of earnest worshippers. Officers and 
privates have said to me, again and again, " Yon are doing afar 
greater work here than you can have any idea of; we can judge 
better than yon." Some twenty-five or thirty hopeful conversions 
have occurred already. Backsliders in still larger numbers have 
been reclaimed ; and as yet the work is seemingly but just begun. 
The interest increases with each passing day; and if, for two weeks 
to come, the work advances as during the past two weeks, glorious 
results will be witnessed. Already we cannot but exclaim. What 
hath God wrought! Several cases of interest have come under my 
observation, outside the artillery, in the infantry. I have spent 
much time in personal conversation with the soldiers, — for this I 
find to be the best method of getting hold of men, — and everywhere 
I find them accessible. And not only so; they desire to converse, 
many of them, upon the subject of personal piety, and all that is 
required is that one should take them by the hand and lead them to 
Christ. Several instances of this kind I have met, when out for a 
few hours in some regiment or hospital. I think I have abundant 
evidence for believing that a few words, spoken in the manner above 
described, have resulted in an entire change in the life and character. 
"A word fitly spoken, how good it is!" My last meeting at the sta- 
tion was a scene I shall never forget. The warm expressions of 
interest in our work, and in ourselves personally, coming from the 
lips of converts and reclaimed ones, showed us most conclusively 
that our work had not been in vain. One and another exclaimed, 
"Where should I have been, what would have become of my poor 
soul, had not these brethren come and brought us the gospel?" 

Rev. W. L. Tisdale wrote, on March 5, as follows, 
from Nelson Station, Warrenton Junction, Va. : — 

This is a new station. I preached the first sermon here. The 
chapel was crowded, and also the space for twenty or thirty feet 

AliMY OF THE POTOMAC. — 1864. -127 

around the door. From thai day to this, very stormy weather ex- 
cepted, the chapel has been crowded at every service. The firsl time 
opportunity was given eight or ten men expressed desire for the 

prayers of Christians in their behalf, and every time since a- many 
have embraced each opportunity. Sometimes twenty, and one even- 
ing thirty-five, asked prayers. I can hardly tell the number of con- 
versions in the brigade since we came; but from all I can learn there 
have been, during the four weeks since the station was started, several 
hundred led to serious reflection, and about one hundred converted 
and reclaimed. In our firsl or second meeting at this new station, 
a drummer-boy of the One Hundred and Forty-sixth New York 
Volunteers was deeply impressed, began to cry to God for mercy 
and salvation, and soon came happily into the light. At once he 
began praying specially for a young friend. lie, too, was converted 
to God. Then the two united their prayers for a third, who was 
soon won to Jesus. They all joined in prayer for a fourth one of 
their comrades, successfully ; and the four for a fifth; and so they 
kept on, until now the drummer-boy tells me that ten of their com- 
pany are already happy in the love of Christ and hope of heaven 
newly found. 

The following sketch, by Mr. Williams, of two weeks' 
experience in the Fifth Corps section,- in May, 18G4, needs 
little more than a change of names and dates to make it 
a record of any corps section during tin active campaign: — 

The last Sabbath in April the Delegates at Culpepper preached 
twenty-three times to the different regiments in and about the town, 
and everywhere the men listened as though they were anticipating 
the baptism of blood which awaited them during the early days of 
May, and as though anxious to prepare for the death march which 
so many of them were to make to the battle-fields South of the Kapi- 
dan. A tew days more and the tents of the Commission were struck. 
Cooking utensils, station furniture, and all heavy articles were sent 
back to Washington, and the wagons carefully packed with battle- 
field stores. The Delegates were divided into companies and placed 
under the care of experienced agents, to each of whom a corps was 
assigned as a field of labor, in the active campaign for which the 


army was now prepared. Early on the morning of the 4th of May 
we join the hospital train of the Fifth Corps, and cross the Rapi- 
dan at Germania Ford, passing through the formidable fortifications 
just abandoned by the rebels, and at night encamp in an open field. 
At noon, May 5th, the battle begins in earnest. The ammunition 
wagons draw nearer the front. Commissary and quartermaster wagons 
arc parked in the rear. The ambulances solemnly wheel into pro- 
cession, ready to drive to the battle-ground and receive the wounded, 
The first load is not long delayed. A single "fly" is stretched upon 
a side hill, hardly out of range of the enemy's cannon, and a surgeon 
or two detailed to dress the wounds of those who lie upon the grass 
mar by. The Medical Director of the corps selects a place suitable 
for a field-hospital, in a grove on each side of the Chancellorsville 
road, and distant about two miles from the Wilderness Tavern. Here 
the tents go up as by magic; but before those of a single division are 
pitched the head of an ambulance train approaches, laden with we 
know not how many hundreds of men, groaning with pain, and tag- 
ging lor immediate attention and care. The amputating table is at 
once in use. Surgeons and chaplains vie with each other to make the 
men more comfortable. Hospital attendants carefully lift the 
■wounded from the ambulances, and carry them gently to the wards, 
and lay them on the ground, or upon boughs of pines hastily broken 
from the trees. The Delegates of the Commission are at work, 
too. Some of them help the men out of the ambulances, some build 
fires and prepare coffee and tea and take to those who call for drink, 
while others receive the messages of the dying. Amid such scenes 
there can be no idlers. Through the afternoon and through the 
night the work continues. While some sleep others keep the fires 
burning, and fill the pails of the nurses as one after another they 
come for coffee for their wards, and so the night passes, — the rattle 
of musketry never ceasing. But the morning sun only ushers in 
another day of blood. The fighting is desperate, and all day long 
the wounded pour in toward the grove. Still another day of battle, 
and now thousands are strewn upon the ground about us ; the ampu- 
tating tables are surrounded with heaps of lifeless limbs, and the air 
is full of moans, and cries, and death. In the afternoon of Saturday, 
May 7th, there are rumors of a movement to the left. Before midnight 
the tents arc struck, and the long trains of wagons and ambulances, 

AKMY OF THE POTOMAC. — 1864. £29 

loaded with the wounded, arc moving oul upon the road toward 
Fredericksburg. Many of the wounded, too weak to follow on ('not 
or to endure the jolting ride in the heavy wagons, are left with a 
lew attendants to the tender mercies of the rebels, who will soon have 
undisturbed possession of the Wilderness. As we drive out into the 
road and await in the darkness the order to march, there is a moment 
hi gather up in thought the experience of the three terrible days now- 
closed. The silence is oppressive. The fighting has ceased. Only 
now and then there is heard the sharp crack of a picket's gun or the 
hideous bray of an impatient mule. We think of the unburied dead 
on the fields of strife, of the wounded we leave behind, of the scenes 
we have witnessed of heroic fortitude and patriotism, of triumphant 
deaths, of the thousands who in Northern homes must soon be made- 
sad when the record of these days of blood is borne to them. Then, 
too, come back to us the words of gratitude, and thanks, anil bh ssing 
which have been so often heard from the lips of the noble men as we 
sought to comfort and help them, and they strengthen our hearts 
anew for the work that is still before us. But we do not think long. 
The train is ordered to move on. Streams are forded in the dark- 
ness; the road is kept with difficulty. Sabbath morning finds us on 
the Chancellorsville battle-field. We halt for food and water. The 
Sixth, Ninth, Fifth, and Second Corps, with bayonets gleaming in 
the sun, but with dusty uniforms and weary steps, march past us. A 
few hours later and skirmishing is heard. We follow on. No inter- 
ruption till noon. Another halt for food and water. We start 
again. ( ruerrillas fire upon the train. The cavalry scout tin woods. 
Two or three citizens are captured. The train is driven rapidly on 
over dry and excellent roads, or through sandy fields, towards Spott- 
sylvania Court-house. At sun-down we halt again, in a corn-field, 
for supper, and as it is hoped for a night's bivouac. The rebels are 
disputing the advance of our troops in the forest just before us, Inn 
the lighting is not serious; so we unhitch. Horses are watered in a 
stream, across which the enemy has been driven hardly hall' an hour 
before. Men are preparing their suppers, when the order comes for 
an advance. Again the heavy wagons move forward; nun and 
horses long for rest, but it is denied them. We march through a 
gloomy forest of pine. The darkness of the night is made 
and more oppressive by the faintly burning tires which have been 


kindled in the dry underbrush during the fight, which now bring oul 
into boldj striking, but solemn relief, the tall trunks of the giant 
pines which skirt our path, and which give a weird and fanciful 
character to the scene. We pass through a deep and dangerous 
stream. Broken wagons on either bank warn us of our impending 
fate. But the train presses on. The road becomes rough and 
stony. Weary mules are coaxed forward. Weary men drop by the 
road side to catch an hour's sleep, it is midnight of the Sabbath 
day. What a Sabbath it has been! But we have reached the ex- 
tent of our journey. All the trains of the army are parked in a 
large open field, immediately before us. Now we shall have rest. 
Not so; for the wagons of the Christian Commission are ordered off 
the ground. We drive off to the right, to seek a hospital of a divi- 
sion of the Fifth Corps, said to be hardly a mile distant, liut the 

mile soon becomes two, and at three o'clock Monday 1 ning we 

drive out by the side of the road, unhitch our horses, i'rcd them, and 
lie down at the foot of a pine tree for an hour's sleep. With the 
first light of the morning we are awakened by men moving around 
us, ami find that we are among the wounded and dead, who are lying 
as they fell upon the field in which we are encamped. A demand 
is ;ii once made upon us for stores. All hands are at work, washing 
and dressing wounds, for not more than two surgeons are present to 
care for two hundred men. Preparations are just complete for pitch- 
ing the hospital tents, when the word comes for us to fall back. 
\\:i ;ons are rapidly repacked, tents strapped to axletrees, — any way 
to carry them. The ambulances lead, filled with the poor men who 
had lain on the swampy ground so many hours, praying and patiently 
waiting for the needed aid. 

\Yc hail proceeded hardly an eighth of a mile before we met an- 
other train of ambulances, eagerly pressing by us, in the hope of 
reaching the other side of the soon-to-bc-made battle-field. The 
artillery rush past us, and wheel into position on the brow of a hill 
just to our right. A little distance away, in full view, stand the 
rebel hosts, impatiently awaiting the word to open the attack. Our 
train is blocked. The road is full. The ambulances, with their 
precious burdens, still pass by us on the left. In one of them, all 
covered with blood, we look upon Sedgwick's noble body, now cold in 
death. The wagons in front of us begin to move. The moments 

AII.MV <>F THE POTOMAC. — 1864. lol 

spenl in waiting have lengthened in imagination into hours; Imt 
escape is al hand. No. The driver immediately in fronl of us runs 
against a tree, and our wheels are fast. A Delegate springs for an 
axe, winks away at the tree till it falls; another start ; second col- 
lision ; the pole -naps ; the wagon overturns ; the horse* are cut loose, 
and the driver rides rapidly for his lili'. In the mean time our wagon 
has regained the road, and is now fast overtaking the train which 
hadlefi us to our fate. In a few moments more the sound of firing 
reminds us of our narrow escape, and tells us that the battles of Spott- 
sylvania ( lourt-house have begun. 

The hospital of the Fifth Corps is located at Laurel Hill; that of 
the Six ili Corps is half a mile South, towards the Court House; that 
of the Second Corps is nearer, but West of us. Here again are made 
preparations for the reception of hundreds of wounded men, for the 
heavy si und of artillery which we hear, and the rattle of musketry, 
are sure indications of a fearful battle. The hospital is not long 
without inmates. The long wards speedily fill up, and before the 
sun of Monday, Mm 9, sets, we have a. hospital crowded with men 
Buffering with the most terrible of wounds. The work of the Com- 
mission h like that at the hospital in the Wilderness. Fires 

are k< pt burning ; hot coffee, tea, farina, corn-starch, milk punch, are 
constantly in requisition. Two or three men are in the wards all the 
day and night, praying with the dying, receiving their messages of 
affection, writing letters for those who cannot write for themselves, 
helping the surgeons, doing whatever they are able to do, bringing 
water from the spring, washing wounds, seeking in every way possi 
hie to sympathize with the siilferers before them. The Mine here 
remains unchanged for a week. 

The following extracts, from Rev. S. J. M. Eaton's 
report, give a view of the work at Belle Plain and 
Fredericksburg in May: — 

Our destination was Belle Plain, a point on the Potomac, sixty 

miles below Washington, where stores were to be landed and sent to 
the front, and whence the wounded were to lie sent on transports to 

Washington. We reached Belle Plain at 8 o'clock mi the morning 

of the loth of May, tint as yet no wounded nun had arrived. We 


lay there, listening to the dull roar of the cannon that was borne to 
our ears from the distant battle-field, until the middle of the after- 
noon. At five o'clock the wounded began to come in from Freder- 
icksburg, and we went ashore and erected our tent.' Belle Plain is a 
miserable, barren point of land, in spite of its name, without a cabin 
or enclosure of any kind. The Christian Commission lent was the 
first, erected on the point. The Delegates speedily kindled a fire, 
opened the boxes of stores, and commenced the manufacture of 
coffee, — dealing crackers and "hard-tack" to the wounded men, who 
were almost famished with hunger. The mighty tide of sufferers 
had set in, and was increasing every hour. Some were on foot, with 
extemporized crutches and canes, and long sticks grasped in both 
hands, and some in ambulances and army wagons. In the mean 
time, at a late hour, we had rolled ourselves in our blankets and laid 
down on the bosom of mother earth, ami slept as we seldom sleep in 
our beds at home. Arising at five o'clock in the morning we found 
the ground, almost as far as we could see, covered with wounded 

Thick as autumn leaves that strew the brooks in Vallambrosa, 

who had come in during the night, and thrown themselves down in 
utter exhaustion. The first thing to furnish them was coffee and 
bread. Our own supplies of bread were soon exhausted, and we 
drew upon the government stores until our reinforcements came. 
The camp kettles were never suffered to become cold, and on some 
days as high as three hundred gallons of coffee were made and dis- 
tributed, with crackers in proportion. 

A call being made that morning for a detail from our number to 
assist the surgeons, I was honored with an appointment, and all that 
day, until darkness set in, was engaged in dressing the wounds of 
those who lay upon the ground, or came thronging down the hill on 
the Fredericksburg road. The next morning, other Delegates hav- 
ing arrived, a band of seventeen was formed to proceed to Freder- 
icksburg, with the distinct understanding that it would be necessary 
for us to walk the twelve or fifteen miles that lay between. This 
distance was greater than some of us had walked for twenty years, 
but we set out like the pilgrims of old, with our canteens and staves, — 
having thrown our blankets and haversacks into a wagon. Provi- 

AKMY OF Tin: POTOMAC. — LS64. 433 

(Initially, after having walked about two miles, we were overtaken 
by an ambulance train, the ehief of which courteously invited us to 

take scats in the ambulances .• Delegate in cadi. Our train was 

guarded by an escort of cavalry, as the down train the evening 
before was attacked by guerrillas. At five o'clock we came in sight 
of the spires lit' Fredericksburg, and, crossing on the pontoons over 
the Etappahant k, found the headquarters of the Christian Com- 
mission. A I'ter taking some refreshment, we were distributed among 
the hospitals. Fredericksburg is now a dilapidated place. It bears 
the marks of General Burnside's attack, a year and a half ago. 
Hardly a house but has been battered l>v shot or shell. Some entire 
rows of buildings arc in ruins. Apart from the humanity and Chris- 
tian benevolence we saw exemplified everywhere, it was an awful 
place. The very buzzards swung themselves lazily over it, attracted 
by the horrid atmosphere that brooded over it by day and liv night 

There were IV eight to ten thousand men there, with almost every 

possible description of wounds, from the simple flesh wound of the 
musket hall to the awful mangling of the explosive shell and the 
mutilated trunk deprived of its limbs by amputation. 
The duties of the Delegates were not slight, prolonged as they 

s elimes were into the small hours of the night, as (rains of ambu- 
lance- came in containing some three or four hundred men, hungry, 
suffering, and dying. Often as these trains came in did we feel the 
shuddering, sickening sensation, that would force itself upon us; but 
it passed away as the stern duties of ministering to the wauls of the 
sufferers, and the warm expressions of gratitude falling from parched 
lips, telling of suffering at least partially relieved, turned the 
thoughts into belter channels. Our duties consisted in dressing 

wound-, supplying clothing and delicacies to the needy, writing let- 
ters for the disabled, pointing the suffering and the dying to the 

Lamb of < rod, and ministering at the grave over the remains of the 
departed. There was not a bed nor a cot in all Fredericksburg, 
except those occupied by rebel families. The men were laid on the 
floor, often for a while without even a blanket, and many of them 
with very little clothing, — it having been lost on the battle-field, or 
torn from them in order to dress their wounds. Often, as the long 

train- of ambuh es and army wagons from the front wended their 

way down the hill to the city and stopped, completely blocking up 


the streets, the services of the Commission were brought into special 
requisition. Those who lay in these conveyances were faint and 
weary, and many of them actually dying. Some had not eaten for 
twenty-four hours, nor had their wounds been dressed for the same 
length of time. Coffee and bread were to be distributed among 
them, with stimulants for the worst eases, and sometimes, as they tar- 
ried, an extemporized prayer-meeting was held. Many affecting 
letters were written by the Delegates, as they knelt by the side of 
the wounded men. One brave fellow from New York, feeling that 
his time was short, was inditing a last letter to his friends. After 
disposing of his effects, and giving directions about his relations, he 
said, " Tell them we drove the rebels from the rifle-pits, and that the 
old Flag still waves up in the Wilderness." The general tone of the 
letters was hopeful; "Tell them not to fret ; we are doing well and 
have good attention, considering the circumstances." If ever there 
was a band of heroes on earth, those wounded men at Fredericks- 
burg composed such a band. 1 Neither complaint nor murmur ever 
escaped their lips. Not one seemed to regret his wounds or his sacri- 
fices, further than that they prevented him from participating in 
the battle which was still raging. They were most accessible to reli- 
gious advice and instruction. They welcomed the hour of morning 
and evening prayer, which was observed in almost every hospital, and 
were always ready to talk on the matter of great concern. There 
is every reason to suppose that many of these suffering men, as 
they lay on the hospital floors, sought and found the peace of God 

1 The patience, heroism, and manliness of our soldiers, shown in so many 
ways and under such variety of circumstances, recall the noble testimony of 
Florence Nightingale respecting the English soldiers in the Crimea. She 
writes: — "I have never been able to join in the popular cry about the reck- 
lessness, sensuality, and helplessness of the soldier. I should say, — and per- 
haps few have seen more of the manufacturing and agricultural classes than I 
have before I came out here, — that I have never seen so teachable and helpful 
;i class as the army generally. Give them opportunity promptly and securely 
to send money home, and they will use it. Give them schools and lectures, 
and they will come to them. Give them books and games and amusements, 
and they will leave off drinking. Give them work, and they will do it. Give 
them suffering, and they will bear it. I would rather have to do with the 
army than with any other class I have ever attempted to serve." — Chambers's 
History of the Crimean War, p. 008. 

ARMY OF THE POTOMAC. — 1864. 135 

that passeth all understanding, and died triumphing in redeeming 


At the end of two weeks orders were given for the breaking up of 
the hospitals and the evacuation of the plaee, as the army was about 
changing its base to White House. 

Prayer-meetings were held every evening, in- as often 
as possible, at the flying stations, even during an active 
campaign. The following extract, from a letter written 
by Rev. J. H. Edwards, presents a sketch of such a 
meeting in the Ninth Corps, in -Inly, 1864: — 

Let me tell you briefly about a prayer-meeting held last Sabbath 
evening at Third Division Hospital. The tents of the siek ward are 
arranged around an opening somewhat oval in shape. Three or four 
of US took our stand under a tree, near the tents which contained 
the worst cases, — men unable to walk. Our singing answered the 
purpose of church bells, and soon quite a congregation was gathered, 
reminding one of the groups we may imagine to have frequently 
surrounded the Saviour, — the lame, halt, and blind. Some came 
with canes, some on crutches, and one was brought on a stretcher 
and laid directly before us, — as of old the sick were brought mi 
beds and laid before Him whose touch was healing and whose words 
were lite. After prayer, the reading of Scripture, and some remarks 
by the brother who led the meeting, the soldiers were called upon to 
take part. At once two or three responded. They told of Coil's 
faithfulness to them in the hour of battle and through days and 
nights of sickness. Great anxiety was expressed for the conversion 
of their comrades. At one time two were speaking together, but in 
tones so weak that they did not, hear each other. One, an elderly 
man, bending on his cane, said, " I'm so weak I can't speak much, 
but I want to testify to the goodness of (iod to inc. I have tried to 
live a Christian life since I came into the army, in every place and 
all company, and I believe I can say that, through the grace of God, 
I have." The other one, who was speaking at the same moment, 
had lifted himself partially from under the By, beneath which he 
had been lying, and in a weak voice was telling of his hope and 
faith. When these bad finished, "Carleton," of the Boston Journal, 


who had been drawn to the spot after the meeting had opened, could 
not withhold an expression of his feelings, and addressed the soldiers 
and led in prayer with great warmth of feeling. Then a soldier 
near the stretcher rose, not to his feet, but to his knees, and told of 
having been wounded in the leg in 1861, and of the wound having 
latelv become so troublesome that he could not stand or walk with- 
out great difficulty. Yet upon his knees he "stood up for Jesus." 
The bullets had flown thick around him, but his life had been pre- 
served, in answer to prayer, he believed. He had tried to serve his 
country and his God, and meant to hereafter. Others spoke in a 
similar strain, and remarks were made by one or two members of 
the Commission. The meeting was closed with prayer and the bene- 
diction. After the exercises were over, the following conversation 
was held with the soldier who had been lying on the stretcher before 
us during the meeting. " How did you come here?" " They brought 
me out." " Why did they bring you ?" " I asked them to; I wanted 
to come." "Are you a Christian?" "No; but I want to be." 
"Have you Christian parents?" "Yes, and they are praying that I 
may be." " But you must pray for yourself." " I know it, and I 
will try to." '.' We will pray for you in our tent to-night." ' "Oh do, 
and I will try and pray for myself." You may be assured that 
earnest supplication was made for that soul before we gave ourselves 
to rest. 

[YEAR 1865.] 

The form of organization, adopted early in 1864, by 
which the entire force of the Commission was divided 
into sections, each having an experienced leader and a 
clearly defined field of labor, was found to be well 
adapted to the exigencies of the work, both in summer 
and winter, and, with but few modifications, was retained 
until the close of the Avar. The assistant field agents, 
having the superintendence of the work during the 
winter of 1864-5, were, — Rev. E. F. Williams, in the 
Army of the James; Rev. S.S.Ashley, at base ; and 
Mr. M. B. Lowrie, in the Army of the Potomac. The 

ARMY OF TJIF, POTOMAC. — 1865. 437 

Corps agents were, — Rev. II. V. Emmons, of the Second 
Corps; Mr. Geo. 8. ChaAe, of the Fifth; Rev. Geo. A. 
Hall, of the Sixth; Captain Thos. Chartres, of the 
Ninth; Mr. S. E. Fit/, of the Twenty-fourth; Mr. 
William Kirkby, of the [Twenty-fifth; and Rev. T. K. 
Noble, of the cavalry. The other agents in charge of 
special fields were, — R V. W. L. Tisdale, at Fortress 
Monroe; Rev. Elihu I omis, within defences of City 
Point ; Mr. II. F. ParFey, at hospital. Point of Rocks; 
Mr. Henry C. Hougl/ton, of the Individual Relief 
work ; and Mr. R. I). Douglass, of the Rusiness Depart- 
ment. All of these (were experienced agents, several 
having been engaged in the Commission service in other 
armies. The work of chis winter differed from that of 
the last in but few points, except that it was everywhere 
conducted on a larger scale. The stations were more 
commodious, and the material more abundant. The 
religious reading-matter distributed included a greater 
variety of publications than ever before, besides which 
there was at nearly every station a large loan library of 
well-selected books. One hundred and seventy-two 
thousand copies of the leading religious papers of the 
country were distributed each month, in these armies 
and in the Washington hospitals, besides Testaments, 
hymn books, knapsack books, and tracts, in proportion. 
One peculiar feature of the Commission work this 
year was that undertaken for the education of the colored 
troops in the Twenty-fifth Corps. For this work the 
Commission employed experienced teachers, and fur- 
nished to each regiment or brigade, — in addition to the 
usual equipment for a chapel, — tallies, primers, spelling- 
books, writing-books, black-boards, slates, pens, and ink, 


— iii short everything that was needed to give to all an 
opportunity for mental improvement. The soldiers were 
very thankful for these advantages, and showed great 
eagerness to learn. Another important feature of the 
year was the introduction of ihe system of special diet 
kitchens, which, under the superintendence of M rs. Wit- 
tenmyer, had before this been in operation in the Western 
armies. These were located in tlv* general hospitals at ( 'it v 
Point and Pointof Rocks, and were, under the direction 
of Christian ladies appointeu\by the Commission, a 
valuable means of recovery to thousands of the sick, 
who needed nourishing and pal itable food even more 

than they needed medical treatment. These kitchens 

were mainly supplied from the, government stores and 
hospital fund, bu1 also received many articles from the 
Commission that could not be otherwise obtained. 

The Individual Relief Department was organized still 
more thoroughly during the year, and its usefulness 
extended in various wavs. The work of aiding soldiers 
in sending home their pay and surplus baggage grew to 
wondrous dimensions near the close of the war. When- 
ever the troops were being paid off the amounts broughl 
into the stations varied from fifty thousand to two hun- 
dred thousand dollars per day, in packages from fifteen 

to one hundred dollars each. And when the troops 

were ordered to reduce their baggage to light marching 
order, thousands upon thousands of packages, containing 
Overcoats, blankets, and clothing, which would otherwise 
have been lost, were forwarded by the agents of this 
department, and thus preserved for the soldiers and their 
families. Twice only, in all the insecurity and perils 
of receiving and carrying money among the camps, were 

Alf.MY OF THE POTOMAC. — 1865; 139 

:i few hundred dollars lost, once by the explosion of 
ammunition, blowing into fragments the table at which 
the agent was receiving money, and once by robbery 
among bounty-jumpers. In neither of these cases did 
the soldiers' families suffer loss. How large a portion 
of the millions of money expressed borne by the Com- 
mission was saved from being squandered, can be esti- 
mated only by those who know the habits of army life. 
After the surrender of the enemy, at Appomattox 
Court Mouse, and the subsequent withdrawal of the 
troops, the agents of this department made a thorough 
search on all battle-fields around Petersburg and Rich- 
mond and the hospital burial grounds, carefully locating 

all graves discovered, copying the marks cut upon the 
rough head-boards, renewing these when needed, and 
otherwise protecting the graves, so that they should not 

be obliterated. The list thus obtained, increased by the 
records of Libby, Danville, and ( amp Lawton prisons, 
to eight thousand names, was published by the Commis- 
sion, lor gratuitous distribution among the friends of 
the lost. 1 

1 The subjoined tetters are specimens of hundreds received by the Individual 
Relief Department. They not only indicate a terrible phase of army life, bul fur- 
nish a glimpse also into a multitude of suffering households. A new-made widow 
writes:- "I have been advised to address you concerning my dear departed 
husband's effects, He left some few fhings, such a* a coat, a knife, a pocket 
Bible, etc., which would be a great comfort to me in my deep affliction, it 1 can 

gel them Now, would you lie so very kind a> to see thai these things 

are sent to me by express? 1 have no friends there, and am compelled to ask 
these favors of strangers. If you will do me this greal favor, I can only say 
God "ill reward von for your kindness to a soldier's widow and Ins fatherless 
boy. In deep affliction, M. E. M." 

\ little girl pleads thus for a word from Iter loved father, who was already 
in his grave while she was writing: " It i- now lour weeks since we received 

li '• i fronj hi i di :ii' father, and heard that he was very sick, and we have nol 


The following extracts, from the report of the General 
Field Agent, give the movements of the year more in 
detail: — 

At the beginning of the year the two great "armies operating 
against Richmond" were occupying a continuous line of fortifica- 
tions, fifty miles in length, — the Army of the Potomac being on the 
left, before Petersburg ; the Army of the James on the right, before 
Richmond. Seven long months had they laid siege to these devoted 
cities, wresting from them one stronghold after another, by fierce 
battles and midnight marches. Now they were comparatively at 
rest, although the sound of hostile guns never ceased, waiting in 
winter quarters the warm days and hardening roads of spring. The 
Christian Commission had been actively engaged during all these 
months, caring for the wounded and the sick, preaching the gospel 
of Christ in the camps, and supplying from its ample stores aliment 
for both body and mind. 

The Army of the Potomac was composed of the Second, Fifth, 
Sixth, and Ninth Army Corps ; the Army of the James, of the 
Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth, — the latter corps, recently organized, 
being composed exclusively of colored troops. Each army had a large 
base or depot hospital, — that of the Army of the Potomac being 
near City Point, the other about five miles distant, at Point of Rocks. 
At each of these large hospitals preparations had been made by the 
Commission early in the season for a complete establishment, con- 
sisting of a comfortable chapel, seating six hundred persons; a large, 
well-lighted reading-room, provided with library, files of daily anil 
weekly papers, and tables, with writing materials, free to soldiers ; a 
second chapel, for the use of colored soldiers ; a ware-room for hos- 
pital stores, and commodious quarters for the Delegates. 

These buildings were well made, without being expensive, covered 

heard a word since. This is the third letter we have sent off, and begged for 
any one to send ns back an answer whether my deaf father is dead or alive. 
My mother is almost crazy, because she cannot hear from my dear father. I 
wonder if anyone there would please be so kind as to write a few lines back 
again, whether my father is dead or alive. Please lie so kind as to write back. 
If we cannot pay you, the Lord will. Do please be so kind, and answer this 
letter. Anna H ." 

Alt.MY OF THE POTOMAC. 1865. Ill 

with roofs of boards and tarred paper, bad good floors, comfortable 

seals, were well wanned and lighted, and made attractive liy every 
available means. From teli to twenty Delegates were constantly 
employed at each, their duties being to visit each ward of the hospi- 
tal, to give personal attention to each patient, distribute good reading, 
cheer the patients, by conversing with them or writing letters for 
them, and to bold short religious services with them as often as prac- 
ticable. Meetings were also held in the chapel every evening, — the 
services consisting usually of a short sermon by a Delegate or chap- 
lain, followed by a prayer-meeting, in which the soldiers freely 

The reading-rooms were thronged with soldiers from morning till 
night, this being accounted the " pleasantest place in camp," and the 
chapel-meetings were well attended, and not unfrequently crowded 
to the utmost. At each hospital, throughout the winter, the blessed 
influences of the Holy Spirit were manifest. Scarcely a night passed 
but some soldier, and sometimes as many as one hundred, asked the 
pray/ers of Christians and sought the Saviour's blessing. Often as 
many as twenty or thirty have on the same evening resolved to con- 
secrate themselves to Christ. The influence of these meetings, so 
blessed by the presence of Cod, was very extensive, as men were 
constantly passing from these hospitals to their regiments in all parts 
of the army, carrying with them the power of their new life. Meet- 
ings were frequently conducted here also in the German language, 
for the benefit of many Germans, who greatly prized this unaccus- 
tomed privilege. 

The history of either one of these stations, could it be accurately 
written, would be not only of thrilling interest, but would present a 
most wonderful record of the mercy of God, in the quickening and 
conversion of souls ; of answers to prayer, and encouragements to 
faithful Christian effort. Very many poor sufferers, dying in these 
hospitals, far away from friends ami home, have been comforted and 
cheered by the kind attentions of the Delegates, ami been led to a 
faith in Christ and to a triumphant death. Very many hardened 
sinners, coming to the hospitals unbelieving, profane, and profligate, 
have gone away rejoicing, humble followers of Jesus. Here have 
tie prayers of many fathers and mothers been answered; here haye 
many desponding, doubting Christians received new courage, and 


here have the hearts of the Lord's children burned within them as 
they talked of Jesus. When other parts of the army were in 
motion, and when other stations were broken up, these were undis- 
turbed, and from the first establishment of the hospitals until the final 
disbanding of the armies, — a period of nearly twelve months, — ■ 
they were a source of health, life, and peace to the suffering and 

At the front, stations were established at central points in each 
corps, and were made as commodious and attractive as was possible, 
in the circumstances. There were sixteen stations, in all, located in 
the two armies. Each had a fine, large chapel and reading-room, 
and quarters for from five to ten Delegates. Many of the chapels 
were gems of rustic art, of beautiful proportions, the interior being 
adorned with wreaths and festoons of evergreen and holly. These 
chapels were occupied as reading-rooms during the day, and for ser- 
vices each evening and on the Sabbath, and were almost without 
exception the scenes of powerful revivals, being crowded to overflow- 
ing from night to night. 

From each station also the Delegates went regularly to the regi- 
ments in their vicinity, taking a weekly supply of religious reading, 
and in many instances holding meetings in the open air. The chap- 
lains of regiments were also supplied, as during the last winter, with 
canvas roofs, stoves, and lamps, thus enabling them to erect seventy- 
five large and comfortable houses of worship. Some of these were 
very large, — sixty feet in length by thirty-five in width, — several of 
this size being put up in the Twenty-fifth Corps, and used both* as 
chapels and school-rooms. For these colored troops the Commission 
furnished, not only roofing, stoves, and lights, but primers, black- 
boards, and readers, organizing the schools and providing them with 
teachers. The results of these schools were very satisfactory, the 
soldiers learning rapidly, and showing a great desire to improve. 

Although during the months of January and February there were 
many startling rumors of meditated attacks, and not a few changes . 
in the location of troops, the stations of the Commission, extending 
as they did along the line of the armies, from Hatcher's Run on the 
extreme left to Fort Harrison and Deep Bottom oil the right, accom- 
plished an extensive and valuable work. 

As the month of March came in it became evident that active 

AKMY OF THK POTOMAC. — 1865. 443 

operations were to be resumed at a very early day, and vigorous pre* 
parations were made for what all felt must prove a long and bloody 

The corps sections were reorganized, wagons loaded with battle- 
field supplies, and everything made ready for a sudden movement. 
The chapels were left, however, until the last moment, and the meet- 
ings continued in them, growing in interest until the final breaking- 
u]i. One night the enemy made an unexpected attack upon the 
lines of the Ninth Corps, capturing a fort and penetrating far within 
our lines, only to be driven back, after a severe fight, with great loss 
of life. The wounded were taken to Meade Station, and our beauti- 
ful chape], which only the evening before had been occupied by 
quiet worshippers, was now filled with bleeding and dying men, some 
of them the same who, but a few hours before, had left that room in 
perfect health and vigor. So strange are the contrasts of war! 

The armies are now joined by Sheridan's famous cavalry, who 
hjave ciime, by forced marches, from the Valley of the Shenandoah, 
tn hear nn unimportant part in the closing struggles of the war. 
They cross the James and Appomattox rivers, on muffled bridges, 
under cover of the night, and encamp for a few days near the Army 
of the Potomac. Here they are joined by a section of the Commis- 
sion, and liberally supplied with stores, of which the war-worn 
heroes stand much in need. 

Ami now the whole army is in commotion. The cavalry take 
their position on the extreme left of the line, driving the enemy 
before them : a large force, composed of parts of the Twenty-fourth 
and Twenty-fifth Corps, cress from the right to the left, and join the 
Army of the Potomac. Winter camps arc broken up, and the im- 
mense hosts await, in battle line, the orders to advance Sheridan's 
cavalry and the Fifth Corps are early engaged, and, after a severe 
battle, gain a victory at Five Forks. Cannon and mortars, along 
the entire line, blaze and roar through the darkness of the night, 
until, just as the morning of the 1st of April dawns, the grand 
charge is made. Fearful slaughter ensues, but nothing can with- 
stand that charge. The enemy is driven back, and the line, which 
tui' eleven months had withstood every attack, arid before which 
thousands of brave soldiers had peri hed, seemingly in vain, was 
now broken, never to be reunited. Soon the word passed from corps 


to corps, and on lightning wings from city to city and town to town, 
all through the broad land, " Richmond and Petersburg have fallen, 
and the armies of the Confederacy are in full retreat." 

Now begins the pursuit. Cavalry, infantry, and artillery, regard- 
less of fatigue, scarcely stopping for food or rest, press eagerly for- 
ward, over the muddy roads and through the swollen streams, now 
skirmishing with the enemy, now capturing a supply train, now 
fighting with an advance guard for an important pass, now cutting 
off an entire division, until, in just one week from the evacuation of 
Petersburg, the rebel army is completely surrounded, its General 
surrenders, and its veterans lay down their arms in presence of the 
victors, and the " Great Rebellion " is no more. 

The agents and Delegates of the Christian Commission were not 
idle during these eventful days. Organized into companies, under 
experienced leaders, and amply supplied with everything required, 
they were promptly at hand wherever there was work to be done. 
The railroad section, which was organized under the direction of 
Rev. Win. A. Lawrence, to attend especially to the wounded as they 
were moved from the field to railroad stations, and thence in cars 
to the depot hospital, was very busily employed, both night and day, 
furnishing hot coffee, crackers, and food, and giving special care to 
such as required it. First at Humphrey's Station, among the 
wounded of the cavalry and Second and Fifth Corps ; then at 
Warren Station, as the wounded of the Sixth Corps were moved 
from field hospitals to the base ; then at Meade Station, as the hospi- 
tals of the Ninth Corps were broken up, this section performed its 
valuable work. The Ninth Corps section, taking forward three 
heavy wagon-loads of supplies, established a station at Burkesville, 
where was a large depot hospital for the wounded. Many hundred 
men were brought here from the battle-fields, where they had lain 
for days without food or care. Government supplies, for some reason, 
were at first very scarce at this place, and the stores brought by the 
Commission proved exceedingly valuable. The Delegates worked 
night and day, nursing the wounded, cooking and distributing food, 
bringing loads of straw from neighboring plantations, and by every 
personal ministration seeking to fill the place of absent fathers and 
brothers. The Twenty-fourth Corps section was with the advance on 
the march, and relieved many of those who were wounded in the last 




engagement of the war, also sending a detachment from its number 
with food and supplies for the hospitals at Farmyille. The Fifth 
Corps section, constantly at the front, afforded, with its "Coffee 
VVagon" and stores, material relief to the wounded, as they lay on 


the field, the night after the battle of Five Forks, and then, attend- 
ing the flying hospital, followed the corps to Appomattox Court 

The Individual Relief corps of the Commission was actively 
engaged in searching out and imparting accurate information regard- 
ing the wounded and the dead, attending to special cases entrusted 
to it- charge, sending home thousands of packages of valuable- and 

' The ( 'offer Wagon was invented, built, ami presented t<> the Commission, by 
Mr. Jacob Dunton, of Philadelphia. Tin' following description of (la- wagon 
and its use is by Kev. C. H. Richards, nneof the Delegates who rendered timely 
Bervice in the Ninth anil Eighteenth Corps, .Inly 30, 1864, — the day of the mine 
explosion and bloody repulse before Petersburg: — "I must refer particularly 
t" on,- prominent feature of their work for weary, wounded bodies on this day, 
which, for it- novelty and usefulness, deserves especial mention. Some of the 
newspapers have mentioned a now Cooking Wagon, presented by the inventor 
to the Christian Commission, which is thoroughly sui generis. It is constructed 
somewhat like a battery caisson, so that the parts can he onlimbered and sepa : 
rated from each other. The 'limber,' or forward part, hears a large chest 


precious mementos from the soldiers to their loved ones there. At 
Richmond and Petersburg permanent stations were established, the 
Delegates being at first employed in the care of the sick and wounded 
in the Confederate hospitals, where many men were found in great 
destitution. At each place, but more particularly at Richmond, the 
Commission was compelled to assist many of the women and children, 
who were left entirely destitute of food by the burning of their 

which is divided into compartments to contain coffee, tea, sugar, and corn- 
starch, with a place, also, for two gridirons and an axe. From the rear portion 
rise three tall smoke-pipes above three large boilers, under which there ifi a 
place for the fire, and under the fire a box for the fuel. Each boiler will hold 
fourteen gallons, and it is estimated that in each one, on the march, ten gallons 
of tea, or coffee, or chocolate, could be made in twenty minutes, thus giving 
ninety gallons of nourishing drink every hour! It is truly a most ingenious 
and beneficent invention. 

"There was a call for coffee. A party of Delegates at once volunteered to 
respond to the call. The tires were lighted, the water boiled, the coftee made. 
and soon the vehicle, drawn by two powerful horses, and attended by half a 
score of willing laborers, was on its way from division to division. Up the 
hospital avenue it rumbled and rolled, past the long rows of white tents, stop- 
ping at this cluster and that, giving to all from its generous supply. You 
should have seen the wondering look of the men as it passed by. They rolled 
themselves over to get a glimpse of it. They stretched their necks for a sight 
of it. The wounded heads forgot to ache, and the wounded limbs almost forgot 
to cry for nursing in that moment of eager curiosity. Was it a new sort of 
ambulance? It did n't look like one. What did those three black pipes mean, 
and those three glowing fires? Is it a steam fire-engine, and are they going to 
give us a shower-bath? But the savory odor that saluted their nostrils, and 
the delicious beverage the engine poured into their little cups, soon put the 
matter beyond all doubt. They soon found that there was no necromancy 
about it, for it had a substantial blessing for each one of them, and (hey gave it 
their blessings in return. One by one, such as were able, crowded about it 
with curious faces, and the wagon, as it stood steaming and glowing in the 
midst, was the theme of many affectionate comments. 'I say, Bill, ain't that 
a bully machine?' ' Yes, sir; it's the greatest institution I ever saw.' ' That 's 
what you might call the Christian Light Artillery,' says a third. 'Good deal 
pleasanter ammunition in it than the Rebs sent us this morning.' ' Well, doc- 
tor,' said a Delegate to a surgeon, 'what do yon think of this?' 'I thank the 
Lord for it. That's all I can say,' was his reply. And so, on a sudden, the 
new invention was crowned with the praises and benediction's of the admiring 
crowd. It was a marked feature in the work of the day, and must be set down 
as one of the 'peculiar institutions' of the Commission." 


homes and the destruction of their stores. This work was, however, 
soon taken off its hands by the Union Commission, which sent a 
large invoice of Hour and an agent to attend to its distribution. 
Thus, during these eventful days, at every point, the Commission 
was ready, with willing hands and abundant stores, to comfort and 
relieve the suffering. 

Thus closed the final campaign of the war. The troops, alter a 
few davs of rest, took up their line of march toward home; the hos- 
pital- and camps, one after another, were broken up, the stations of 
the < lommission were removed, and in a few weeks the army of the 
Potomac was encamped about Arlington Heights, on the very spot 
where, fmr years ago, it hail first been called into being. Here 
again, for a few weeks, was a precious opportunity to work for souls. 
To the veteran who, with task performed, now waited only that final 
order which would restore him as an honored citizen to the home 
circle, left long years ago, the w heels of time dragged heavily. What 
better time than this to direct his thoughts to that heavenly Father, 
who had spared him through all the perils of his army life, to urge 
him henceforth to a consecration of body and soul to that Father's 
service? The large canvas chapel, which a few weeks before he had 
left on the eve of battle to go forth to the uncertainties of a fierce 
campaign, now invited him to worship and to thanksgiving. In 
every corps ami permanent camp, these "tabernacles" were pitched, 
and nightly resounded with hymns of praise and prayers of triumph- 
ant faith. Here from the lips of veterans, who, in marches, in the 
trenches, in the storms of battle, and in the prisons of the foe, had 
for years braved the hardships of war, fell words of childlike faith 
and trust, testifying to the reality of that hope in Christ which had 
never deserted them, and which the darkness of the world could 
never take away. It was in truth a Pentecostal season to hundreds 
of souK one that can never be forgotten bv those who were permitted 
to partake in that "harvest home." 

Only a few short weeks did these scenes continue. The order came, 
the regiment- passed away, each to its parent Slate, ami henceforth 
the Army of the Potomac was to live only on the pages of history 
and in the memories of men. And with it closed that work, which, 
beginning in the efforts of a few to bring the blessings of practical 
Christianity to men who, in the new life of the army, were denied the 


privileges of home, had extended over the whole period of the war; 
a work which had embraced the labors of hundreds of the Lord's 
children ; which had been followed, in its mission to the afflicted and 
the lost, by the prayers of ten times ten thousand faithful hearts; 
which had, in the name of Christ, brought healing to many a faint- 
ing body and life to many a perishing soul. Its record, too, shall 
live in the memories of men. Thousands will have reason to bear it 
in thankful remembrance for the help it brought to them in their 
hour of extremity. Thousands, stricken in the battles of the Penin- 
sula, at Chantilly, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Get- 
tysburg, Wilderness, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and Richmond, — those 
fainting by weariness on marches, and languishing by disease in army 
hospitals, — have reason to thank God for the help rendered them in 
the name of Christ. The souls that have in a hundred stations 
found peace through faith in His name, and been made heirs to an 
inheritance incorruptible and eternal, will never forget that work. 
When those who as humble instruments in the hand of God for this 
work, and those whom they sought to benefit, shall alike have passed 
away from earth and been forgotten, the influence of their labors 
shall still exist, imperishable as eternity. 

The following incidents, reported by Mr. Williams, 
still further illustrate the methods adopted in the sta- 
tions, and the success attending them: — 

About a mile to the rear of New Market Station, in a brigade of 
the third division of the Twenty-fourth Corps, commanded by General 
Henry, was Henry Station, one of the neatest and most finely ar- 
ranged stations in all the armies. It was established in December, 
1864, and labor here continued uninterrupted till April 3d, 1865. 
The chapel was a tent, forty by thirty feet, neatly seated. The tent 
was pitched and seated, and the house for the Delegates erected, by 
soldiers who volunteered to do this work, out of pure love to the 
Commission and a desire to enjoy the benefits of the meetings. The 
meetings were always well attended, and a steady, quiet interest per- 
vaded them all. 

One evening we were sitting around the fire, discussing various 
subjects, and among them the best way of reaching the soldiers. A 

ARMY OF THE POTOMAC. — 1865. 449 

soldier, who had come in unobserved with one of the Delegates after 
tlir evening meeting, and had s:i t in silence, listening to our conver- 
sation, started up with energy and great determination, ami trembling 
in every limb, stepped forward, placed both hands upon the table, 
looked us full in the face, and said, with the deepest feeling, "Well, 
Christian brethren, I have. come in to ask you to pray with me." 
We dropped upon our knees at once, rebuked in our hearts that we 
had not, some of us, noticed his anguish and spoken to him before. 
Every member of our circle besought God's Spirit, ami then he who 
had asked our prayers prayed for himself. One of our number went 
with tiir young man to his tent, and the next day lie was rejoicing in 
his new-found hope. 

Not long after, about two o'clock in the morning, the Delegates 
were aroused by a loud knocking at the door of their tent. One of 
them arose, and found two men in deep distress for their soul's salva- 
tion, anxious to have the brethren pray with them. Candles were 
lighted, and the morning hours wore away in earnest supplication 
with. God that he would give peace to these earnest seekers. Peace 
came, and through their influence many others were brought to 
Christ, till the number of conversions at the station exceeded a hun- 
dred. Nor was the interest confined to the meetings in our chapel, 
hut extended to regiments which had chaplains, who held religious 
services among their own men. 

One evening a man belonging to a battery, three-fourths of a mile 
from our chapel, strayed over to the meeting. He became greatly 
interested in the service. When about half-way home he kneeled 
by a stump and prayed. The next night, with a companion, he 
sought the meeting again. The stump saw two praying souls that 
night, and upon their return to camp they began to work for Christ, 
and in a few weeks forty men out of that battery alone found peace 
in believing. 

The following sketch of one day's work among the 
cavalry is given by Rev. Wm. A. Lawrence: 

As we came down from Hatcher's Run, two days ago, we met 
Sheridan's Cavalry just in from the White House, tiling of!' to the 
left of our line. On reaching City Point I found a plan was on foot 


to pay these flying soldiers a flying visit, and in two hours brothers 
Loorais, Carpenter, Roberts, French and myself, were moving out 
with a four-horse wagon-load of supplies. We came upon Sheridan's 
men at ten the next morning, encamped for the day, three miles 
North of Hatcher's Run. We soon had our wagon " in position," and 
opened upon them with a brisk fire of Testaments, hymn-books, 
papers, writing-paper, needles, thread, etc., till we had pretty effectu- 
ally silenced calls in that direction. A box of Adams Express 
envelopes, packed among our stores, proved a special providence, for 
the pavmasters came into camp that morning and commenced pay- 
ing off the regiments. We gave out word at once that we would 
express it home for them, as soon as we could pitch our tent and get 
things in readiness. We selected a central spot near General Mer- 
ritt's headquarters, floated the blue Christian Commission flag, 
cooked our own dinner in the old Atlanta campaign style, deployed 
brothers French, Page, and Hamilton (who came up as reinforce- 
ments), as skirmishers among the camp, pitched our tent, posted 
brother Roberts outside with the reading-matter, stationery, etc., as a 
sort of " advance picket," while Loomis, Carpenter, and I took up a 
strong position behind a breastwork of boxes at the entrance of the 
tent, and prepared to receive the "enemy," — the love of which is the 
root of all evil, — in a becoming manner. 

The boys were ready with their money as soon as we were ready 
to receive it, and all three fell hard at work. Carpenter, veteran 
Christian Commission cashier and expressman, was in his glory. 
Seated on a box of farina, with an empty dry goods box for a desk, 
and a broken blackberry cordial bottle for an inkstand, his coat off, 
and taking money and names, giving Testaments and answering 
questions, his face radiant with benevolence and fun, — you should 
have seen and heard him. "Who's the next man that wants to send 
his money home?" "John Monoye." "How d'ye spell it?" 
"J-o-h-n." "No! I know how to spell John, — the last name?" 
" Yes, my friend, I hope that book will be your constant compan- 
ion." " Write to United States Christian Commission, City Point, 
for your receipt, if the money don't go right." "Who's the next 
man? A bundle to send home; Loomis, that's in your department. 
Don't hurry, boys; we shall be here all night, if you don't crowd us 
to death before." " One hundred dollars." " Mrs. or Miss ?" " All 

ARMY OF THE POTOMAC. 1865. -1~»1 

right." "Writing paper? Thai man outside will give it to you." 
" Yes, gel a permit from your company commander, and Mr. Loomis 
there will send it for you." " You're very welcome, sir ; your wife 
will be glad to get the money, no doubt." "Christian Kempfer? I 
hope you are a Christian indeed. How is that?" "How much did 
you say?" — and so on till at eleven at night, when we closed the tent. 
We had received two hundred and fifty-seven packages of money, 
containing in all over twenty-two thousand dollars. We wrote out 
invoices till one, then put the money under our heads for a pillow, 
ami slept soundly till daylight, when we were roused up, and, with- 
out time to make so simple a toilet as to put on our coats, com- 
menced expressing money again in the greatest haste. The whole 
command were ordered to move at an early hour, and this was the 
last chance the poor fellows might ever have to send their well- 
earned money to old father or wife or children. At nine o'clock we 
had expressed three hundred and sixty-nine packages, containing 
over thirty thousand dollars. Then came the bugle order "prepare 
to march," "mount," and in a few minutes all around us was as 
silent as a prairie. The whole command had vanished, and our 
short work was done. 

We had been among them only twenty-four hours, but it seemed 
like a year's work of common life, so crowded were the hours with 
opportunities to serve these dear fellows that we can reach but 
seldom at the best. The pleasantest part of it all was, the faith the 
men had in us as members of the Commission. They handed over 
their money to us without asking a question or taking any kind of a 
receipt. We were Christian Commission and they were all right, 
and in this confidence was their strongest security after all; for I 
would work my fingers to the bone sooner than by any fault of mine 
such men should lose and such trust be betrayed. God grant that 
in due time the name of Christian may mean always " not slothful in 
business" as well as "fervent in spirit;" may mean all that is noble 
and lovely and trustworthy; and thanks be to Him if the Commis- 
sion can do anything toward bringing back to Christ once more the 
blessed name of Christian ! 

A few days later, while the battle of Five Forks was raging, one 
of Sheridan's men, galloping past a Delegate, caught sight of the 
badge, reined up, fumbled under his blouse, drew out a roll of bank 


bills, and turning it into the Delegate's hand, said, "Send this to my 

sister, Sarah J ; she lives in ." Before the Delegate could 

ask the name and regiment of the unknown cavalryman he had 
taken his place in the line ready for action. The money was sent, 
and we trust the brave man came out of the fight to confirm at home 
his confidence in the badge of the Christian Commission. 

Mr. Williams gives the following report of the educa- 
tional work in the Twenty -fifth Corps: — 

The work in the Twenty-fifth Corps (colored), though resembling 
in its more general features that in the Twenty-fourth, yet differed 
from it in several important respects. Very many of the men could 
not read. It was useless to distribute reading-matter among them. 
Something must be done to teach them. A meeting of the chaplains 
of this corps was called at Butler Station, early in the winter, at- 
tended by chaplains who had ridden ten miles through rain and mud. 
The Commission proposed to furnish teachers, primers, blackboards, 
chalk, and such other aid as might be necessary, if they would at 
once organize schools in their regiments, and throw their influence in 
favor of the schools which the Commission would organize in regi- 
ments destitute of chaplains. Hearty assent was given, and resolu- 
tions of thanks passed. The Executive Committee at Philadelphia 
responded cordially to our appeal, and sent out circulars calling for 
fifty teachers for colored soldiers. All the primers in the market 
were bought up, old spelling-books were collected in many a town at 
the North, blackboards were made in the field, and lumber obtained 
for seats and writing-desks for school-rooms. Applications for canvas 
were multiplied, negroes in blue could be seen everywhere, carrying 
huge logs upon their shoulders for the school-house, till thirty neat 
and commodious edifices attested the eagerness of the colored men to 
learn to read and write. Officers uniformly approved the plan, and 
in a very short time after the meeting at Butler Station schools were 
in progress in nearly every regiment in the Twenty-fifth Corps. To 
facilitate this work two very large Commission stations were estab- 
lished in the corps, and both being within easy reach of the enemy's 
guns, gave every newly-arrived Delegate the peculiar sensations of 
being for the first time under fire. Birney Station, named in honor 


of Major-General I). B. Birney, who showed us great kindness 
from first to last, was located upon a hill, just in the rear of Fort 
Burnham, and under the guns of the rebel Fort Gilmer. The 
chapel-tent was pitched, seated and dedicated in a single day. The 
sermon was preached by the Rev. Edward Hawes, of Philadelphia, 
whose people generously paid six hundred dollars for the canvas, and 
named it the "Hawes Tabernacle." Ten regiments were reached 
from this station. The schools were held in day and evening sessions. 
The men came in by reliefs, as picket and fatigue duty would allow, 
three thousand in a week, for their turn to drink at this little stream 
of knowledge. They showed great eagerness to learn. Some, with- 
out any knowledge of the alphabet, learned to read in easy sentences 
in six days. And for the majority, according to the uniform report 
of the teachers, the average time required to learn to read in easy 
sentences was only four weeks. The pupils carried out the normal 
system thoroughly, for as soon as they had acquired one letter they 
cast about at mice to teach it to some one more ignorant than them- 
selves. So that one teacher, multiplied in this geometrical ratio, was 
very soon felt as an educating power in an entire regiment. As an 
educational, civilizing, religious effort, the work of the winter was 
abundantly successful. It was the uniform testimony of the chap- 
lains and the officers of the regiments, that those taught in our 
schools were more obedient and respectful to their officers; discipline 
was improved; habits of vice were cheeked, and in many cases gen- 
uine religious interest was excited. 

Wild Station, a mile to the south of Birney, and three-fourth- of 
a mile from Fort Brady, was conducted on the general plan above 
described. Schools were established in each regiment; services were 
held in the open air, for the benefit of the regiments, upon the Sab- 
bath; and prayer-meetings attended during the week. But the great 
work here, as at Birney, was the instruction of the men. Hundreds 
of those who could not read at the beginning of winter were >ntli- 
ciently advanced at its close to read in the Testament; and many of 
them had learned to write with rapidity and elegance. It was no 
uncommon thing for one, riding along the line of works held by this 
corps, to see men at every step of his progress, reading or stud) ing 
in their primers, politely bowing as he passed, as if tiny recognized 
in him the giver of the blessings they had found. 


From eight to ten thousand papers per week were distributed in 
this corps, and we had the assurance that they were read with quite 
as much care and interest as in any part of the army. Testaments, 
tracts and Bibles were also distributed freely, and at the opening of 
the campaign few men marched without something to read in their 
knapsacks. After the capture of Lee's army, and the return of the 
Twenty-fifth Corps to the vicinity of City Point, the work was, at the 
request of the General in command, again commenced, and from 
every officer in authority, from the highest to the lowest, all possible 
assistance was given to the Delegates, who were ready to devote 
themselves to the instruction of the men. 

When the corps subsequently embarked for Texas, Mr. William 
Kirkby, the corps agent, whose earnest efforts had already accom- 
plished much for the men, accompanied them, taking supplies for the 
sick, and material for opening schools when they should again go 
into camp. He was afterwards joined by other Delegates, who car- 
ried on the work which had been so well begun, establishing stations 
and schools at several points on the Rio Grande and at Indianola. 



Until the telegrams reached Philadelphia of the 
buttle of Stone River, Dee. 31, 1862, the Christian 
Commission had done little work in the Army of the 
Cumberland, except to supply chaplains and other 
volunteer distributors, by mail and express, with reli- 
gious papers and the Scriptures. Upon the announce- 
ment of this battle an enthusiastic night meeting 
gathered in the rooms of the Young Men's Christian 
Association. Thirty-two Delegates volunteered, were 
equipped and supplied with three tons of battle stores, 
and at 11 o'clock p.m. Delegates and supplies were on 
the express train for the AVest. At Nashville they 
were met by another party of Delegates, hastening from 
Chicago on the same mission. Owing to want of pre- 
paration and previous organization, and in the confusion 
incident to a decisive army movement and a great 
battle, this attempt at relief was not altogether satisfac- 
tory in its results; yet, so great were the demand and 
opportunities for personal ministrations, in the extem- 
porized hospitals at Murfreesboro' and Nashville, that 
these Delegates were able to bring great relief to many 

1 Thia chapter was prepared by Rev. E. V. Smith, General Field Agent in 
the Army of the Cumberland. 



suffering men. This experience prepared the way for a 
more efficient work, and two months later, Rev. E. P. 
Smith 1 was sent to organize and superintend the Com- 
mission work in the Army of the Cumberland. Mr. 
Smith reached Nashville in April, with four boxes of 
supplies and seven Delegates. 

The coming of the Commission was most opportune. 
A council of army chaplains, convened at Murfreesboro' 
a few days before, had appointed a committee to devise 
means to furnish their regiments with Testaments and 
religious reading. They welcomed the Commission 
most heartily, and from that day to the end of the war 
the relations between the chaplains in this department 
and the Commission were most happy and mutually 
beneficial. They gave the Delegates free access to their 
regiments, made appointments for them, and often came 
in to take part in Commission meetings. 

The difficulties of transportation with which this 
army contended during all its campaigns modified the 
Commission's method of field labor. Instead of follow- 
ing the troops, with wagons loaded with supplies, and 
tents for chapels and Delegates' quarters, the Commission 
was obliged to keep to the line of the railroads, taking 
supplies on the cars, and finding chapel room and storage 
and quarters in churches and other buildings assigned 
by military order. 2 The same difficulty of transporta- 
tion, however, kept the army along the railroads, and 
with but one exception, the campaign from Nashville to 

1 See p. 147. 

2 This difference of method will explain the fact that few chapel-tente were 
used in the Army of the Cumberland, and that it furnished no pictorial illus- 
tration for these Annals. 



Atlanta, in every hall of even a few days the main body 
of troops camped around some (own or village, where, 
by the favor of the military, the Commission found good 
buildings for its purposes of living and working. A 
Commission "station" consists of chapel, store-room, 
soldiers' reading and writing-room, and quarters for 
from five to fifty Delegates. Frequently in the time of 
a battle or the occupation of a newly-captured town, one 
large ball or a church has been made for a few days to 
till all these offices. When the army moved, driving 
the enemy along the railroad, the construction corps 
followed, repairing the road and relaying the track. 
While this was being done the Delegates walked with 
the army, and the stores were sent forward upon govern- 
ment wagons and in the ambulances which had come in 
with the sick and were returning empty to the front. 

At once, on entering the lines, rooms were opened at 
Nashville and Murfreesboro'. At Nashville, Delegate 
Crawford was left in charge, and was very fortunate in 
securing a large store-room, on Cherry street, just 
vacated by the United States Sanitary Commission-. 
For the first four months this store was our only home. 
and the Delegates will not soon forget their initiation 
into army life, — sleeping on <\ry goods shelves and boxes, 
partaking the scanty fare served up by a disabled sol- 
dier, who volunteered to cook for our mess. As supplies 

from Ohio ami Pennsylvania, forwarded from the 
branch offices at Cincinnati and Pittsburg, multiplied, 
other quarters for Delegates and another store-room 
were obtained, and this large room was used during the 
war as a reading and free writing-room for soldiers. 
The use made of this room will be readily seen from 



the card put into the hands of the soldiers as they 
entered :• — 

The newspapers hanging on the files are dailies and weeklies from your State 

and County. Sit down and read. 
The writing-table and stationery on the left are for your use. They want to 

hear from you at home. If out of stamps, drop your letter in the box ; wo 

will stamp and mail it, 
Those Testaments, hymn-books, and religious papers were sent to you; take 

That library back of the railing has many interesting books; find the one you 

like, have it recorded, and return it in five days. 
If you are in trouble, speak to any agent in the room ; you are the one he wants 

to see. 
At 3' P.M. everybody come to our " prayer-meeting" in the Second Presbyterian 

Church, College Street, below the Public Square. The Saviour will be there. 

He says, "Come." ' 

Directly opposite were the Maxwell Barracks, called 
by the soldiers " Zollicoffer," composed of the roof, 
walls, and partitions of a large five-story hotel, without 
windows and without fire. This was the Soldier's Ex- 
change. On his way to or from the front, while he re- 
mained in Nashville, he was a prisoner in these forlorn 
rooms. Hundreds, and sometimes as many as three 
thousand, were put in for the night, nearly all of them 
to pass on in the morning. Here the Commission had 
an interesting work during the war. 2 Each morning the 
soldiers leaving for the front were supplied with papers, 
Testaments, and hymn-books. There were few soldiers 
in all Rosecrans's or Sherman's army who did not have 
at least one night's experience in these barracks. 

1 A tall Wisconsin soldier drew his sleeve across his moistened eye as he 
read this card. When asked if he was in trouble, "No," said he, " but this is 
the first roof under which I have been made welcome since I came from home." 

2 On the first night of his arrival Delegate Crawford made his way to the 
third story, and called the soldiers together for a prayer-meeting, which 
succeeding Delegates sustained, with scarcely an interruption, until July, 1865. 


In May, Delegate Moody, from Chicago, opened a 
daily prayer-meeting in the basement of the Second 
Presbyterian Church, which was kept up without inter- 
mission for a year, and was then removed to McKendree 
Chapel. By its long continuance it became widely 
known in the army, and was the favorite resort of 
Christian soldiers passing through, and especially of 
those who were seeking to become Christians. During 
the first winter it was led daily by the Colonel of the 
Eighteenth Michigan Regiment. In these meetings, 
for a few months, the frequent testimony from the 
soldiers was, "This is the first prayer-meeting I have 
had the privilege of attending since I enlisted." Before 
the year closed such statements were seldom heard in 
any part of the army. 

Six large hospitals in Nashville soon came into the 
care of the Commission religiously. Convalescent Camp, 
beyond the Chattanooga depot, presented a most inte- 
resting field of labor. The men gathered here were 
neither sick nor well. Separated from their comrades 
and their regimental quarter masters, they were in deso- 
late and often destitute circumstances. A daily prayer- 
meeting was held for a while in the open air, whenever 
the weather would permit, and large quantities of cloth- 
ing wire distributed. In the autumn a large chapel 
tent was erected, which served for reading-room and 
writing-room, and chapel for two services per day. 
The commandant of the camp, stopping the agent on 
the street one day after the opening of the chapel, said, 
"You have let a streak of sunshine into my camp." 

Murfreesboro' was headquarters of the army at the 
time of the arrival of the, Commission, and for three 


months afforded rare opportunity for its work. Rev. 
Henry Powers was Delegate in charge. 1 Nearly forty 
thousand men, made thoughtful in the hattle of Stone 
River, were encamped within the radius of a mile. A 
large majority of them had lost their Testaments, with 
their knapsacks, in that hattle. A systematic distribu- 
tion of the Scriptures to all the regiments was at once 
undertaken. In the month of May, twenty-five thou- 
sand copies of Scripture, donated by the American Bible 
Society, and thirty thousand soldiers' hymn-books, were 
given away, and never has God's praise been sung in 
nobler chorus than that with which the camps around 
Murfreesboro' echoed in those summer evenings. In a 
few weeks there were tokens of unusual religious interest. 
Chaplains held extra meetings in their regiments. The 
Delegates, increased to thirty, labored incessantly and 
with most blessed results, — holding prayer-meetings, 
distributing religious reading, preaching in camps, and 
persuading men everywhere to accept the Saviour. 
Many a halting Christian was revived and saved, and 
souls by scores were converted to Christ. At one of the 
moonlight meetings, in Convalescent Camp, five hundred 
arose for prayers. 

Often since, along the line of the army's march and 
in Chattanooga, in the soldiers' meetings, has grateful 
mention been made of the refreshing from the Lord at 

1 For the first six months of the work in the army of the Cumberland, be- 
fore the abundant hospital supplies came in from Cincinnati ami Pittsburg, 
only two permanent agents were employed, the other work being done by 
Delegates. Those who held the more important positions remained from six 
to eight weeks. Afterward, as the stores for distribution increased, the number 
of permanent men in charge was increased to eight, who held all the import- 
ant points of the Commission in this army. 


Murfreesboro'. In the September following, several 
soldiers, coming from the front, on a train of cars, 
passed over the field of Stone River battle. They were 
recounting their campaigns and fights. They had beeri 
at Pea Ridge, Shiloh, Fort Donelson, and Perry ville. 
"Yes, partner," replied one of the group, "I know as 
much of those fights as any of you; but yonder is a 
spot," — pointing to the remains of a brush camp, — 
" which I shall remember when I have forgotten them 
all, and this Stone River beside." "What's there?" 
asked his comrades. "I found Jesus there," was the 
answer. An Illinois lieutenant said, with deep emotion, 
at a meeting in Stevenson, "I was just giving up my 
religion when God saved me, in your prayer-meetings at 

This remarkable religious interest continued and 
deepened until the army broke camp, June 24. The 
Commission station at Murfreesboro' was kept up till 
August, ministering to the garrison and to a large con- 
valescent camp. In October, the hospitals with the 
wounded from Chickamauga again called for the relief 
and religious ministrations of the Delegates. The sta- 
tion was reopened, and the Delegates continued for 
nearly a year to labor most harmoniously and delight- 
rally with the poet chaplain, Rev. William Earnshaw. 

At Tullahoma a station was set up, and clothing and 
reading distributed to the men who lost their knapsacks 
in the fight at Hoover's Gap and in the march of seven- 
teen rainy days. 

With Winchester for headquarters-, the army rested 
about four weeks. Here the Commission work, broken 
oil' at Murfreesboro', began again. Regiments were 


supplied with religious reading, preaching services and 
prayer-meetings were held in camps, and two daily 
prayer-meetings in the churches in town. "The blessed 
season at Winchester" was afterwards a frequent topic 
at the front, as the Delegates met the men who prayed 
and sang with them there. 

Cowan, as the army moved on to Stevenson, became 
the convalescent camp, and, like all such camps, was 
naturally a desolate place. To these convalescents the 
Commission ministered with hospital stores, reading- 
matter, and the Gospel of our Lord, through the sympa- 
thy and earnest labor of Delegates. In this exhausting 
labor two of the Delegates broke down and returned to 
Nashville ; where one recovered from a protracted 
fever, and the other, Mr. A. E. Dyer, of Harmony, 
Maine, after partial recovery, died, on Sunday, the 15th 
of November. 

At Stevenson, while the army halted in the march to 
Chattanooga, and for the three months after, till Dec. 1, 
the Commission labored in the large field hospital and 
among the camps. General Sheridan gave the Commis- 
sion the only church in the place, which, with its two 
stories, made a Delegate's home, a writing-room and a 
chapel, and often quarters for soldiers passing to their 
regiments and spending the night in Stevenson without 
shelter or food. At this point, also, Rev. B. Parsons, 
agent in charge, received and fed with coffee, bread, 
and soup, hundreds of wounded men brought in ambu- 
lances and wagons from the battle-field of Chickamauga, 
on their way to Nashville. The commissary of the 
post saw what Mr. Parsons was trying to do, and volun- 


fcarily ordered rations and a detail of fifty men to carry 
nut the plan. 1 Many and many a heartfelt "God bless 
you!" did the warm food call forth, from sufferers in all 
Stages of wounds and fevers, who had ridden sixty miles 
in government wagons without springs, over the rocky 
steeps of Waldon's Ridge and through the muddy Ten- 
nessee bottoms. 

At Bridgeport, ten miles farther on, a tent station was 
opened. Here Major-General Howard, in command, 
left nothing undone for the comfort and success of the 
Commission. In addition to our work among the troops, 
he requested the agent, Rev. R. D. Douglass, to take 
charge of some poor families in the vicinity, and to 
draw rations for their weekly supply. Many of the 
wounded from Ohickamauga were put into hospitals at 
this point. By an arrangement with the surgeon in 
charge, a Delegate went daily, at a stated hour, to offi- 
ciate in the burial service of the dead. For several 
weeks the deaths averaged three per day. One Dele- 
gate reports, during his time of service, one hundred 

1 Tlir following are the orders alluded to: — 

Office Issuing Commissary, Stevenson, Ala., i 
September 24, 1863. I 
Ai.i. Bakeries at this Post: — 

Yon will deliver to Rev. Benjamin Parsons, Field Agent of die United 
States Christian Commission, all the fresh bread that he may need for the use 
iif wounded soldiers, taking his receipt for the same. I will replace the bread 
with lluiii- pound for pound. This to remain in force until further orders. 

J. R. Fitch, Captain mid Acting Commissary. 

Stevenson, Ala.. Sept* mbi r -I. 1S63. 

Issuing Clerk: — 

Deliver to Rev. Benjamin Parsons, Field Agent United States Christian 
Commission, what sugar and coffee he may need, taking his receipt for the 

J. R. Fitch, Captain and Acting Commissary. 


funerals at this hospital, — writing a letter and sending 
a lock of hair to friends in each case where the address 
could be found. 

The quartermaster of the post offered a tent, benches, 
and desks, if the Commission would open a school for 
the children of the poor white employees of the govern- 
ment. Delegate Hughes from Ohio undertook it, and 
made it a very happy part of the Commission work. A 
school was also opened for contrabands, — adults and 
children. The chapel tent, with its daily service of 
prayer and jn-eaching, proved a great comfort, and was 
doubtless a means of lasting good to many soldiers. 

At Chattanooga, a few days after the evacuation, 
Delegate T. R. Ewing secured rooms in the town and 
put out the Christian Commission sign. The force of 
Delegates was then so light that, when the battle of 
Chiekamauga came on, there were only three relief men 
in the field, and transportation, — more than sixty miles 
and over the mountains, — was so difficult that very few 
hospital stores were at hand. But with those few the 
three Delegates were able to minister to suffering and 
dying men. Rev. John Hussey was sent by a surgeon, 
during the fight, to help the wounded at Crawfish Spring 
Hospital, and was captured, with the hospital, by the 
enemy. He was taken to Libby, and after a short im- 
prisonment was released on the interposition of the 
Commission officers at Philadelphia. 1 

Near the last of September a choice invoice of Com- 
mission stores for the wounded was loaded, by the quar- 
termaster at Stevenson, on seven government wagons, 
and put into the supply train for Chattanooga. This 

1 See p. 156. 


was the train which was attacked by Wheeler's Cavalry 
while ascending Waldon'a Ridge, and within one day of 
its destination. The whole train of seven hundred 
wagons, loaded with supplies, was burned on the spot 
and the mules shot in their harness. The Commission's 
loss was irreparable. The wounded from Chickamauga 
fdled every available room in Chattanooga. So crowded 
were they as to require the Commission chapel, and even 
part of the Delegates' quarters, for hospital accommoda- 
tions. For all the sick of the army alter a long march 
and the wounded after a hard fight, — many of them 
brought in under a flag of truce, having lain in the 
rebels' hands for ten or fourteen days, with their wounds 
scarcely dressed, — there were very few supplies, save the 
ordinary army rations, and these were soon cut down to 
the one-quarter ration. AVell men were weakened by 
hunger; mules staggered about till they dropped in the 
streets. For the few animals that survived it was neces- 
sary to put a guard over the feed boxes, to keep the sol- 
diers from devouring their corn. Men in hospital sank 
away for want of nourishment. Transportation became 
so difficult, over the mountains, that six mules could not 
haul corn enough from Bridgeport for their own forage 
on the trip to Chattanooga and return. Bragg's bat- 
teries, on the nose of Lookout Mountain, were dropping 
occasional shells on Main Street, as if in insolent joy 
over our misery and speedy capture. In these gloomy 
days the Delegates, largely increased in number by re- 
inforcements that had worked their way on foot from 
Bridgeport, entered upon by far the most important 
Commission work of the year in this Department. It 
was to comfort these desolate and dying men; to divide 



the scanty stores at hand, and every additional box 
brought through with great labor, among the most needy 
where all were in need; to provide stationery, and keep 
communication ojien between these hospitals and friends 
at home; to make the daily round of the gangrene wards, 
and of cots where the surgeon had said there was no 
hope of recovery; to hold themselves ready on call of 
ward-master or nurse, to "come and see a man that is 
dying and wants a chaplain;" and to take in trust me- 
mentos and last words. 

The general field hospital was two miles out of town, 
on the opposite side of the Tennessee river. Here Dele- 
gates Burnell, Hawes and Butterfield pitched their tent, 
and during the brief existence of the hospital accom- 
plished great good. At this hospital the wounded were 
loaded into mule wagons for transportation to Bridge- 
port. The road lay over precipices so steep and rocky 
that the wagons were often let down by ropes from one 
rock to another, amid the groans and shrieks of tortured 
men. So excruciatingly painful was this descent of 
Waldon's Ridge that some of the sufferers begged the 
privilege of crawling down the rocks and dragging their 
wounded limbs after them. There has been in the war 
no more touching scene than was presented one morning 
among those wagons, loaded with wounded and about to 
start on their perilous journey to Bridgeport. Each 
man lying on the wagon bottom, without straw to break 
the rough jolting, and many without the canvas cover to 
jn'otect from the rain and sun, was experimenting to find 
a comfortable position, and resorting to all expedients to 
provide himself for the way with a canteen of water and 
a few hard crackers in his haversack. All were thought- 


ful and anxious. Chickamauga was a defeat, and the 
glOom of an army strikes firsi and deepest upon its hos- 
pitals. 'Hie Delegates were busy attending, as far as 
possible, the personal wants of the men in the different 
wagons. When the train was ready and waiting the 
order to move, Mr. Burnell, standing on a driver's seat, 
propo'sed a prayer-meeting. " Yes, yes, give us a prayer- 
meeting," came from a hundred voices. The hymn, 
"When I can read my title clear;" a few words of the 

Saviour's love and cheer; a prayer for the sufferers, si • 

of whom would die on their way, and for their comrades 
remaining, many of whom would die for want of such 
transportation, and for their country and the friends far 
away, perhaps even now praying for them; the benedic- 
tion of peace and the fervent responding "amen," were 
all the services of this wagon prayer-meeting; — to not 
a few of the worshippers their last earthly scene of song 
and prayer. 

In three weeks this hospital, depleted by death and 
the wagon trains, was broken up, and the severest ampu- 
tated cases brought into Chattanooga, to linger a few 
weeks longer. 

In the quarters of the Commission in Chattanooga a 
diet kitchen was extemporized and superintended by 

Mrs. 1)., of Wisconsin, — cod-fish soup, flavored with an 

Occasional potato, being the chief luxury dispensed for 
many days. Afterward, when the wagon-route from 
Kelly's Landing was opened by the timely arrival of 
General Hooker's force, chicken, roast apples, canned 
milk and fresh grapes were added to the hill of distri- 
bution. Admission to all the wards was freely granted 
by the surgeons, and in some of them the men, languish- 


ing from amputation, came to depend upon us for their 
daily meal. 

Great as was the work now devolving upon the Com- 
mission, the difficulties in procuring transportation of 
stores and passes for Delegates were increasing. No 
special order had yet been issued in this army, giving 
the Commission these facilities. General Grant had 
just assumed command, and was altogether occupied in 
marshaling and feeding: his forces that were to relieve 
the siege of Chattanooga. A personal interview was, 
however, readily accorded to the Field Agent of the 
Commission, and General Grant, after hearing a state- 
ment of the case, at once gave orders whereby the de- 
sired facilities were secured. 1 

Early in November the Baptist church, which had 
been assigned for a Commission chapel, and afterwards 
taken for hospital purposes, was restored, and a series 
of nightly meetings began, which soon became wonder- 
ful in interest and spiritual profit. The first half hour 
of the evening was given to prayer and relation of 
religious experience; then came the sermon by a Dele- 
gate or chaplain, followed by a special service for those 
who desired to become Christians. The experiences 
were not the repetitious accounts often given on such 
occasions. Nearly all the worshippers had been on the 
Chickamauga field. They had been saved from capture 
and death, while many comrades had fallen. They 
crowded to the chapel with thanksgivings and confes- 
sions, and with importunities for their unconverted 
comrades to come to the Saviour. A half hour before 
the time for service the chapel was often so crowded as 

1 See p. 149, and the Special Order given on p. 141. 


to make it difficult for the preacher to go through the 

aisle to the pulpit. Twenty, forty, and one night more 
than one hundred, asked for prayers. One evening, 
when room could not be found to invite forward those 
who desired prayers, and an expression of feeling by 
the uplifted hand was called. for, all were deeply affected 
by seeing a hand thrust in through the window. An 
anxious soul standing without desired to see Jesus. At 
a meeting, when opportunity was given for any to ex- 
press their feelings, an Illinois soldier arose in the audi- 
ence, and, with a decided manner and tone, said: — 

My fellow soldiers, I am not excited ; I am convinced, — that's all. 
I feel that I ought to be a Christian, — that I ought to say so, — to 
tell you so, ami to ask you to come with me; and now if there is a 
call fur sinners seeking Christ to come forward, I for one shall go, — 
not. on account of excitement, for I tell you my heart never beat 
steadier in my lite, — not to make a show, for I have nothing but sin 
to show ; I do not go because I want to, — I would rather keep my 
seat, — but going will be telling the truth ; I ought to be a Christian, — 
I want to be a Christian, — and going forward for prayers is just tell- 
ing the truth about it. Say, comrades, won't you go with me? 

And without waiting for their answer, or for a formal 
invitation from the preacher, he strode down the aisle 
and knelt at the altar, with more than a score of his 
comrades following and kneeling around him. It 
scarcely need he added that salvation came that night 
to that sincere seeker. The interest and solemnity of 
these meetings grew nightly through the month of 
Novemher, while the army preparations for a great 
battle, apparent to the eye of veterans, were in daily 

At length General Grant had mustered his forces for 


the relief of Chattanooga. General Hooker held the 
right, and General Sherman, marching his men from 
Mississippi, closed in on the left. The chapel had been 
ordered vacated for hospital purposes. Every regi- 
ment was under marching orders. Then came the last 
meeting. Every soldier felt it to be his last hour of 
prayer before going into the deadly conflict. The meet- 
ing is represented as alternating from painful solemnity 
to the joy of Christian victory ; and three days after, 
when the smoke of battle had cleared up from Mission 
Ridge, many of those fears and hopes were found 
realized in the death of the brothers of that meeting. 
Name after name, on the death-roll of that battle, re- 
called those chapel scenes, and in the flying hospitals 
and the wards in the town the Delegates met daily with 
men who confessed the blessedness of those meetings. 

Near midnight of Sabbath, November 22, General 
Howard's corps marched in silence along the back street 
of Chattanooga, to take their position on the front and 
left of the town, in readiness for the impending fight. 
They were veterans of the Army of the Potomac, who 
had marched up and down the Shenandoah Valley, 
crossed the Rappahannock in both directions, and shared 
in the reputation of Bull Run. They seemed not to 
have forgotten the Potomac idea of a battle, for one of 
them was overheard, as they passed by the Commission 
quarters, calling out to his comrade, " I say, Jim, who 
will cover Washington to-morrow?" 

On Monday afternoon the fighting commenced in 
front of the town. General Thomas's men readily car- 
ried Pilot Knob, the highest point between the town and 
the ridge, and there lay on their arms for the night. 


On Tuesday skirmishing continued all along the line, 

without decisive result, till about two o'clock, when we 
beard the shout of a charge and the cheers of victory, 

and saw, through the lifting clouds, Genera] Hooker's 

men chasing the rebel forces around the nose of Look- 
out Mountain. Then the cheer was taken up by divi- 
sions, and passed from Lookout along the foot of 
Mission Ridge, through Granger's and Palmer's and 
Howard's corps, and on to the left, till it could 
scarcely he heard from Sherman's men at the end of the 
Ridge, three miles away. A party of Delegates made 
their way that night, as best they could, across Chat- 
tanooga < 'reek, to look after any wounded who might be 
left on the field. But so thoroughly were our forces 
masters of the situation that they carried all their 
wounded at once to the hospital, and gave them every 
medical attention. On Wednesday morning the skir- 
mishing became more lively. The General Field Agent 
of the Commission continues the story in his report: — 

Genera] Sherman now began to strike heavy blows for the railroad 
communication through the tunnel. Twice we saw his long blue 
lino move over a corn-field, up to the skirts of the woods, ami tall 
rapidly back. The third time they marched up and held their ground. 
We knew that many men must have gone down under that terrible 
lire' at short range, and that tin' corn-field must lie full of suffi rers. 
A party Hi' Delegates started on foot, to carry such relief as they 
could, with coffee-kettles, stimulants, and bandages. A.s we were 
passing along the line of General Wood's division, Colonel Stanley 
called out to us, ami pointing up the ridge, said, " There '.\ill ho 
work enough for you right here in a few minutes." While he was 
speaking a line of blue mats went over our first lino of works, and a 
little further on a line of gray coats left theirs; both lines swept up 
the hill, 'flic rebels massed their standards and rallied their forces 
at the p. lint of the ridge direct!} in from of our climbing columns, 


or rather climbing mass, for every man was stretching away for him- 
self, fired with the single purpose of gaining the top. Under this